February 23, 2024
Kurt Benson

The Los Angeles Clippers are going to win their first NBA Championship (1 minute read)

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Back in November, I wrote this blog about why the Clippers were my favourite team to win the NBA Championship. Now, this was before the James Harden trade, and many people thought I was crazy due to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George's poor health history.

Fast forward to the trade for James Harden, and people really thought I was crazy; yes, things didn't look good with James at the start by losing six straight games, but damn, did they figure it out? They have arguably been the best team in the NBA since December. We are now only two games back from first place in the Western Conference, and we are at the halfway point of the season. 

Also, here are some significant headlines after the Harden trade:

"Already making excuses."

"James Harden blames lack of training camp for slow start"

"The Clippers have been bad since James Harden arrived."

"Harden ruined the Clippers."

So, what happened is that you have a team that is extremely talented, mature enough to park their egos, healthy and experienced, and a phenomenal coach in Ty Lue. All of these ingredients are what make up the DNA of Championship teams. Yes, we are only halfway, and we still have a lot of basketball left, but right now, I don't know many Vegas bookies that would bet against the Clippers.

Now, they may have the best offensive rating since December, but in a lot of other statistical categories, they are average or below average. The difference for them is closing out games; lots of NBA teams can lead or keep a game close until the last 3-5 minutes in the 4th quarter, and the same can be said for close-out games in the playoffs. When you have experience and extreme talent who know how to close games, you become a serious problem for your opponents on a nightly basis; this is the Clipper's secret weapon.

Think about one of our shows at Tidal League, "Run Your Race." We have heard this often: the ability to close out games and why you need a superstar to win at the highest level, and the Clippers have four future Hall of Fame players on their team. On a recent episode of "Run Your Race," a guest appearance from Elfrid Payton spoke about how calm and confident he was when he played for the Suns with Chris Paul, especially in the 4th quarter.

With all that said, the Clippers are still my 2024 NBA Champion favourites. They have a tough schedule ahead to close out the rest of the season, and as long as they can stay healthy, they will be a problem come the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

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