The Los Angeles Clippers are having a very good season this year, trying to leave in the past the fiasco they lived in the infamous Orlando bubble last year. As you all may know, they were expected to compete with crosstown rivals Los Angeles Lakers for a spot in the Finals and blew a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets in the prior round.
That was an embarrassing moment for them and now they'll try to change the narrative playing under more normal circumstances. Even though some people are convinced the Clippers can't compete, others believe that being outside of the bubble is actually beneficial for them. Yahoo! Sports reporter Chris Haynes recently joined The Bill Simmons Podcast and revealed his thoughts about the Clippers.
The reporter said that the conditions for the Clippers were very rough last season and they didn't want to play in the bubble, which led to their disconnections while having big leads against the Denver Nuggets. Haynes believes that will be different this season and they will have the chance to turn things around come playoffs time. When asked by Simmons why the people should trust the Clippers, Haynes said (15:00 mark):
"You know, unless the league goes back into the bubble, I don't think we're gonna see that version that we saw," Haynes said. "Guys were depressed, Paul George was depressed, they didn't wanna be there. It is what it is. I'm not saying if everything was alright, the Clippers would have won the championship but that was tough to deal with. Their offseason was solid, they had a solid offseason, Paul George said 'I'm back to my MVP level, although he never won an MVP but he was talking about when he was playing really well in Oklahoma City. I can't put all my coins on the Clippers but I think we're going to see a better version of them now than they got knocked out in that bubble."
The Clippers know everybody expected more from them last season and losing the way they lost was really bad. Now they'll try to bounce back and so far things are going fine for them. They're the 3rd best team in the bubble after beating the seemingly unbeatable Utah Jazz on Friday night.
They made a series of changes in the offseason, all focused on getting better now. If they can turn things around and show up when it matters the most, the rest of the West will have a big problem trying to defeat this team.