Why the resurgent LA Clippers are now a force to be reckoned with

Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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The Clippers' offense is leading their resurgence.

Even as the defense has stabilized, however, it’s been the offense, per usual, that has been the real story of the Clippers’ resurgence of late. While the top-line numbers have been impressive in their own right—the squad has improved their points per game by eleven points, their field goal percentage by seven percent, and their offensive rating by six points since their November nadir—the eye test speaks of an even bigger improvement.

Watch this play as an example.

Compared to the first clip, the difference is night and day. It’s not just that possession results in points, but everything around it seems in sync. Kawhi initiates the offense with a clear plan to go downhill, Zubac sets a tough screen against Aaron Gordon, and the balance on the floor allows Harden to serve as a release valve when Denver shows help and walls off the paint for Leonard.
Simply put, there is a connective tissue to the Clippers offense that didn't exist in the early days of the Harden experiment.

Perhaps most surprising is that the Clippers’ in-season turnaround was not the result of a players-only meeting or any singularly dramatic event, but rather the product of a squad that never ran from the day-to-day grind required of team building.

”When you’re losing, it’s like you’re over-talking,” Harden told reporters after the Oklahoma City Thunder broke their nine-game winning streak. ”So, making sure we’re doing those really good habits because half the teams already have the advantage of being together for a number of years; they already know each other, teams like Denver and whatnot, and Milwaukee for the most part.”

Even if those good habits are still forming, the Los Angeles Clippers finally look like contenders (again).