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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Shmackem: LA Clippers are far from a threat in the West

Carlos Ruiz

Don’t let the NBA standings fool you, the 2018-19 Clippers are not the best team in the Western Conference.

The Clippers are like the third best basketball team in LA, behind the Lebron James-led Lakers and UCLA men’s basketball, with its 5-2 record.

These Clippers couldn’t even cut hair.

Luke 13:30 says, “the first shall be last,” in other words new fans watch your step getting off that bandwagon, when the Clippers fall from grace.

It’s not even close as to which LA team is closer to the top, especially if you throw in another professional LA team into the mix. The Clippers then drop down to fourth after the Rams, who hold the best record in the NFL at 10-1.

And if the Big Baller Brand brothers still played for Chino Hills, I’m not even sure if the Clippers would be better than that high school squad.

When it comes to the Western Conference, everybody and their mama knows the Golden State Warriors are the best in the West.

Injuries to two-time MVP Stephen Curry and Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green has caused the team to struggle, while adjusting to a different play style.

Even with the back-to-back defending NBA champion’s struggles, the team is still only one game back from the top spot in the West standings, which is being warmed up by the Clippers until the Warriors get back healthy.

The build-a-team Clippers are only on top right now because the best teams in the West have gotten off to slow starts through the first 20-something odd games played of the young season.

This team even had the audacity to come up with the moniker “Clamp City” Clippers, as a way to express the team’s on court defensive capability and prowess.

The nickname is disrespectful to the recently disassembled “Lob City” Clippers, which was a championship contending team, featuring three All-Star players.

As for who runs LA, it’s still the purple and gold baby! Yes, the Clippers did hand the Lakers a blowout-loss in the preseason, but James and Lonzo Ball did not play in that game, so that’s not a game worth bragging about.

The Clippers just got fortunate that the Lakers starting point guard Ball and the best player in the game King James was out. Just like the team coached by 20-year veteran Doc Rivers has been all season, fortunate.

According to ESPN’s NBA Relative Performance Index, the Clippers have the No. 7 toughest schedule in the league.

The data is analyzed by a formula that takes into account “25 percent team winning percentage, 50 percent opponents’ average winning percentage and 25 percent’ opponents’ average winning percentage.”

Sorry [totally not sorry] to fans that jumped ship to the other LA team when the Lakers weren’t making the playoffs the past five seasons.

Now the Lakeshow have King James and hold this “L,” Clipper nation because the Clippers will regress to the mean all the way out of the playoffs.

Regardless of current record, there’s about 10 teams that are just flat out better than the Clips.

Warriors. Lakers. Denver Nuggets. Houston Rockets. San Antonio Spurs. Are all better than the Clippers.

The Clippers will take on the Dallas Mavericks (10-9) in the team’s next game on Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. The Mavs currently sit in the eight place spot in the West, however there’s only four games separating the team from the No. 1 seed Clippers.

These teams have been two of the hottest in the NBA over the last 10 games, with the Clips besting at 9-1 and the Mavs coming in tied for second compiling a record of 8-2, after starting off a miserable 2-7.

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About the Contributors
Jah-Tosh Baruti, Staff Writer
Jah-Tosh Baruti is author of the sports column titled Shmackem. Previously he was sports editor for Talon Marks. Baruti also took home an award for his sports writing at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ state conference in 2018.
Carlos Ruiz, Managing Editor
Carlos Ruiz is the Managing Editor for Talon Marks. He admires photography, and even launched his own website and has dedicated his Instagram to his work. His dream job is always changing, but most recently, he would like to travel the world taking photos, or something having to do with photojournalism. He’s hopeful to continue working on a newspaper staff at the CSU he decides to attend.  
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Shmackem: LA Clippers are far from a threat in the West