Finishing up 2013, the Los Angeles Clippers are in prime position to jockey for one of the top two seeds in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
Lob City will be even better when it is fully healthy.
Matt Barnes returned from an injured eye after missing his last 16 games and was promptly ejected for a flagrant 2 in his first game back. J.J. Redick injured his elbow against the Sacramento Kings and is expected to miss at least another month. Even reserve Reggie Bullock has been sidelined with a leg injury.
Although they are not as dominant as they were during their 17-game winning streak last December, the Clippers have rattled off five wins in a row, blowing out teams like the San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets. A defense that struggled for much of the first half of the season now ranks seventh overall in points allowed per 100 possessions.
In the month of December, Los Angeles has had the stingiest defense in all of basketball.
So who is responsible for the Clips' recent success? Which Clippers look poised for a breakout 2014?
Let's break down the top ten Clippers with grades based on current performance and preseason expectations.
All statistics accurate as of Dec. 24, 2013. Statistics used from NBA.com/Stats and Basketball-Reference.com.