For good reason, the Los Angeles Clippers were among the most hyped teams in basketball entering this season.
They were a team that had added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to a playoff-level foundation. That kind of team is supposed to be dominant, and even better equipped for the postseason.
A few months into the season, the Clippers are merely ... good. The team is 25-12, tied for third place in the Western Conference. It notably carries two wins over the conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers, but also a number of ugly losses.
Possibly the ugliest came on Saturday, when the team got blown out of the Staples Center by the 14-22 Memphis Grizzlies, eventually losing 140-114. The home crowd booed the team — which was missing George due to a hamstring issue — as it walked off the floor.
— NBA (@NBA) January 4, 2020
After the game, Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell stated the apparent reality: the Clippers are not an elite team right now.
"We're not a great team," forward Montrezl Harrell said when asked how a great team maintains a positive mindset. "That's, I think, one thing that you all need to get out your minds. We're not a great team. We just [came] together this year. We have two players that haven't been a part of this team. We have a player who won an NBA championship with a whole 'nother team last year.
"So we're not a great team, that's No. 1 right there," Harrell continued. "That's what we need to realize and wake up. We're still a team that needs to figure out things we need to do to win, night in and night out."
Obviously, Harrell isn’t saying his team isn’t capable of winning a title. He’s just noting that the team, as it’s playing right now, needs to improve. Luckily, the team still has 45 games and a number of months to work on that.
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