Sports Out West

Winning division is only the first step for Clippers

Wizards v/s Clippers 03/12/11

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Clippers swept the season series with the Los Angeles Lakers and more importantly, they won their first ever Pacific Division title.  Clipper Nation has to feel like this was a long time coming but at the end of the day, what does it really mean?

If things remain as they are currently in the standings, the Clippers would play the Memphis Grizzles in the first round of the NBA playoffs.  Although they would have home court advantage, no one would say that series is a lock for the Clippers.  The same two teams met last season and the series went seven games with the Clippers surviving in the end.

Winning the division is no small feat and should not be dismissed; however, it is not the total barometer of a successful season.  SBnation.com is reporting that although the Clippers won the division, there is intrigue about possibly bringing in Stan Van Gundy  to replace head coach Vinny Del Negro next season.     

Added to that is the fact that Chris Paul is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.  Any hopes of him remaining in a Clipper uniform are heavily tied to whether he feels the Clippers are getting closer to a championship team.  A deep run in the playoffs this season could only bolster his faith in that. 

Although this is the most successful regular season the Clippers have ever had, it is not enough.  The good news for Clipper Nation is that the standards have been raised.  The bad news is no one knows whether the Clippers, as currently constructed, are ready to meet them. 

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Keenan Actkins

Keenan Actkins is an Arizona resident living in the Phoenix metropolitan area. He brings a wealth of sports knowledge and passion to the team with his unique insight and strong voice and opinion. He also contributes to Yahoo! Voices and has written for WoodyPaige.com.