The Los Angeles Clippers have been in a funk lately. A funk that has been in effect for the entire month of March as the team has gone 6-9 and dropped down to sixth place in the Western Conference.
The Clippers haven’t scored 100 points in the last nine games and were held under 90 points for four of those games. Needless to say they went 3-6 during that span.
They fared better in the first six games of the month going 3-3 while managing to top the 100-point mark four times. But teams have started to play Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan tougher in the paint not giving them room to receive those lobs that Chris Paul likes to throw to them.
This tactic also has the added benefit of making the Clippers more of a one dimensional team since none of L.A.’s big men have any kind of game away from the basket. The New Orleans Hornets benefited from using this tactic on Thursday night and were aided by poor shooting from the Clippers perimeter players.
The Clippers don’t have very long to turn things around though. They play their last five games this month at home then face a brutal schedule for the month of April that will see them playing only five of their fourteen games at home.
Even tougher will be the matchups they face next month. They have to play Dallas, the Lakers, Phoenix (they’ve already lost to the Suns twice this month), the Thunder twice, and they will end the season playing the Knicks in New York.
Coach Vinny Del Negro needs to get this squad playing more cohesively with ninth-seed Utah only trailing the Clippers by one game. Tenth-seeded Phoenix is only two games back in the standings.
So the Clippers will have their hands full in the next couple of weeks. At one time they were looking like they may be able to secure a top-four seed and home court advantage in the playoffs but now they are in danger of missing the playoffs all together. And that would be a tragedy since missing the playoffs was the last thing Paul envisioned when he came to L.A.
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.