Over at Stein Line Live, Marc Stein takes the temperature of an Eastern Conference scout on the Clippers’ recent success:
“The team that’s made the big jump in the West is the Clippers. They’ve taken a major step forward defensively. Really, really impressive last time I saw them.
“It’s living proof that you shouldn’t pre-judge things 30 or 40 games into the season, because he looked absolutely confused back then. You would sit there wondering: ‘Are they ever gonna get there?’ But now you watch them and they definitely seem to understand what they’re doing as a group. They play with good energy [defensively].
“That doesn’t mean they’re gonna lock the other team down every time. Nobody does that in the regular season. But now you can tell that this is a team that can really amp it up. They seem to have each other’s backs now [on defense] and I think they have another gear to show us when the playoffs come.