The Los Angeles Clippers are the best team in their city.
And it's not even close.
Their dominance spreads well beyond the city's borders, as coach Vinny Del Negro's team has played some of the best basketball witnessed in the 2012-13 season.
But they're not the Lakers. And that this city won't soon forget that fact is one of the saddest realities in the sport.
This team has something for everyone.
For the purists out there, the defensive dissections undertaken by point guard Chris Paul are a pleasant reminder that the position hasn't entirely given way to uber-athletic, yet unrefined talents.
CP3's decision-making is the best in the business.
And he's not just extending his dominance over his current peers, but he's making a run at some of the best to ever play the position.
It took Paul all of seven-plus seasons to become just the 54th player in league history to top the 5,000-assist mark for his career.
With 9.82 career assists per game, he ranks third on the NBA career leaderboard (trailing only Magic Johnson and John Stockton). Paul's 25.49 career player efficiency rating is seventh-best in league history, and he's the only player at the position to crack the top 10.
He has otherworldly handles, changes pace better than any player in the game today and pours in points in bunches whenever his team needs them.
Of course, basketball's enjoyed by far more people than just the purists, and the Clippers certainly don't disappoint the casual fans.
Between Paul, Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford and DeAndre Jordan, this team offers more versatile excitement than any other in the league.
The SportsCenter generation may prefer the highlight alley-oops put forth on a nightly basis by the team dubbed "Lob City," but for my money, you can't go wrong with the yoyo handles and insanely high level of difficulty seen in a Crawford highlight package.
For instance, he might offer one of these.
Or maybe one of these.
And I'd be doing you (and him) a great disservice not to include his trademark shake-and-bake.
OK. So they've got Paul's leadership and an ever-increasing highlight reel.
But what about success?
Depends on your definition of the word, really.
If you're thinking regular-season success, they have it in droves. Thanks to their current 15-game winning streak, they hold the league's best winning percentage (.793).
The one thing missing from their resume (and the one thing that has kept fans flocking to their intra-city rivals) is a championship history.
The Lakers have 16 championships to define their legacy not only in the hoops world, but in the entire realm of professional sports. Not to mention a .619 all-time winning percentage, best in the NBA.
The Clippers, meanwhile, have nary an appearance in the conference finals. And their all-time winning percentage might not even win a batting title (.371).
The Clips have all of the pieces in place to drastically change the course of this organization and make a championship run in 2012-13.
And they'll need it.
If their spirited play this season hasn't yet won over the City of Angels, they won't win too many converts without the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
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