Clippers Midseason Report, TRL Style (part 1)
The Clippers reached the halfway point of the season last night, and despite notching their third win in a row, they remain a game under .500 at 20-21, and one of the NBA’s major disappointments according to numerous experts.
After an inspirational 2005-06 campaign, LA seemed to be caught up in Clippermania, raising hopes for a new era of sustained success and a true local rivalry. Instead, the Clips have stumbled back to mediocrity and everyone has hopped off the bandwagon just as quickly as they climbed on (while hitching a ride with the surprising Lakers).
Was last season a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence? The Clippers still have 41 more games to prove otherwise.
In honor of the team’s fall from grace, LAist takes a look at some of the major storylines of the first half of the season, inspired by some of your favorite one-hit wonders (and because LAist loves its music, you’ll find some videos along with the recap).
This will be a two-part entry, to be concluded tomorrow.
“Earth below us / Drifting falling / Floating weightless / Calling calling home”
– Peter Schilling, “Major Tom (Coming Home)” (1984)
Inspired by: the struggles of the Clippers on the road
It’s no secret that road wins have been hard to come by for the Clippers. Having some adversity away from home is understandable; 5-14 is beyond comprehension for a team that considers itself a playoff contender. To put it in perspective, last year’s squad won five road games in November; this year’s team didn’t get their first road win until December 9.
What has been most disappointing is the personality transformation that seems to take over the team on the road. The offense gets noticeably more passive, settling for jumpers rather than working the ball inside for better opportunities: the team averages 3.9 fewer assists and 5.5 fewer free throw attempts on the road. Their defensive intensity also declines, to the tune of a startling 101 points allowed per game. Not surprisingly, ten of the fourteen road losses are by double digits.