Los Angeles Clippers Are on Course for the NBA Finals

Austen E. MarshellCorrespondent IFebruary 3, 2012

Paul and Griffin are one of the leagues top combos.
Paul and Griffin are one of the leagues top combos.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers haven't beaten anybody in a playoff series or been anywhere near the first round in seven years.

So what?  Chris Paul almost beat the Lakers in last year's playoffs by himself and Blake Griffin doesn't seem like he's fazed or scared by anything.

Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler are vets and up to this point in the season,they  have been playing with a confidence that the younger inexperienced Clippers need to see and emulate. 

Center DeAndre Jordan is from the good ole state of Texas and he ain't never scared.

So how full is the roster in Lob City?  Full enough for five All-Stars. 

Griffin and Paul are All-Star game starters this year and Mo Williams, Billups and Butler are all former All-Stars. 

Jordan, not quite the All-Star, is a shot-blocking guru who is almost guarding the paint with his life. 

There's a natural chemistry that Paul and Jordan have that was effortless from the beginning.  If anybody has been keeping a tally, Paul has probably thrown the most lobs to Jordan since his Clippers debut.   

Solid bench players like Ryan Gomes, who started 62 games for the Clippers last year, and the score-in-bunches Williams round the Clippers out and keep them from having any scoring droughts.

Randy Foye and Eric Bledsoe are reliable hustlers who can score and defend while Reggie Evans is what every NBA team needs: a real bully on the court.    

Whether head coach Vinny Del Negro can put this group together for a real championship run is the only concern and as of now, the Clippers look confident and sharp. 

The talk at the start of the season was the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat in this year's Finals.  Barring a big Lakers trade, the Clippers may very well and most likely challenge the Thunder and Dallas for the West.

The Clippers are for real and it's not a matter of when anymore, it's a matter of how good can they be? 

Although it shouldn't be said in the era of let's-do-this-now, just wait until next year for this group.

They dominated the Thunder last Monday winning 112-100, and don't let the score fool you.  The Clippers were in full control of that game from the start of the second quarter. 

Los Angeles also pulled out a tough win in Utah 107-105 on Wednesday, showing that they can come together and pull out a win away from their home floor.  .

Griffin and Paul are still learning each other but seem to learning on the fly by the second. 

Forget the cliches of Batman and Robin or peanut butter and jelly.

Griffin and Paul could be and are starting to resemble a modern day Stockton and Malone with the flair of Payton and Kemp. 

Really, just wait until next year.