At this point, the LA Clippers' status as a legitimate contender is close to undeniable. After losing a close game on an off night to the Lakers on Sunday, they bounced back with their second win over the Phoenix Suns in six days, this time in blowout fashion.
The Clippers have now won 15 of their last 18 games, and what makes their greatness hard to ignore is the consistency they have been playing with. LA has still not had a star player miss extended time, and they are taking care of business against every caliber of opponent.
One figure in the NBA landscape who has taken notice of this is Doc Rivers. As the former coach of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with the Clippers and James Harden with the 76ers, it is safe to say that Doc knows what he is talking about when it comes to these players.
Joining prominent NBA analyst Bill Simmons on his podcast recently, Rivers revealed that he believes the Clippers are among the top two teams in the Western Conference right now.
Doc Rivers has Clippers on same level as Denver in the West
The championship-winning former Head Coach listed the Clippers and Nuggets as his top two teams in the West right now, in no particular order. "I just think in the playoffs, the Clippers are deeper than everybody, a great coach, and they're deep with veterans," said Rivers. "Everyone on their team is a vet."
Rivers' words are why so many around the Clippers believe this year is the best shot they have had at winning a championship since Leonard and George arrived in town. The amount of high-end talent LA has is significant, and there is a real argument to be made that no one in the NBA has a deeper roster of such capable players.
That depth will of course be a major asset come playoff time, but it is also helping the Clippers win games here and now. "In regular season games, when Kawhi doesn't play, you still have Paul and James," said Rivers. "Bring in Norman Powell, bring in Russ. They're going to be a handful in the playoffs."
The Clippers have been through more than a few disappointments with good teams in the past, but this could very well be the most talented group they have had in franchise history. They continue to prove they deserve to be mentioned with the elites in the Western Conference.