There's an NBA team right now that's from Los Angeles and is atop the Pacific Division. However, Kobe Bryant isn't a starter on that team. Instead, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers are more than just sitting atop the Pacific Division or even the Western Conference. The Clippers (Yes, those Clippers) have the best record in the NBA at 22-6. They're currently on a 14-game winning streak and are 9-3 on the road this year, tops in the NBA. So what has caused L.A.'s other team to take the league by storm early this season?
For one, the Clippers have done nothing but dunk the ball. Power forward Blake Griffin leads the NBA in dunks with 77. Griffin has done most of his dunking by way of alley oop from Chris Paul, thus the Clippers earning the nickname "Lob City". As a matter of fact, rapper Tyga has made an anthem for the Clippers using that same name: http://youtu.be/E1q6hUE-84Y. The Clippers are also the only NBA team this year with two players on in the top five in dunks. The other Clipper in the top five in dunks is center DeAndre Jordan with 59. No wonder they call the Clips "Lob City"!!
Speaking of Chris Paul and passing, the ex-Hornet is second in the NBA in assists per game with 9.5 apg (Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics leads the league with 11.9 apg). Paul does lead the league in steals per game with 2.71 stpg. On Christmas Day, Paul and Griffin combined for 14 assists in a 112-100 win at home vs. the Denver Nuggets. As a team, Los Angeles is second in the league in assists per game with 23.5 apg (San Antonio leads the league in this category with 25.8 apg) and first in the league in steals per game with 10.8 stpg.
L.A. stealing the ball has also been the reason for why the Clips have allowed the third-fewest points per game in the league with 91.9 ppg allowed. Before the Christmas game, Los Angeles held three of their previous four opponents to fewer than 80 points in a game. However, the Clippers has also allowed 100 points or more in five of their six losses (They're 3-5 this year when allowing 100 or more points in a game).
The upcoming month of January won't be easy for Lob City. They'll play the NBA's biggest surprise of the 2012-2013 season in the Golden State Warriors (19-10) three times, Kevin Love and the also-surprising Minnesota Timberwolves twice (13-13; one game out of the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference), Kobe and the resurgent Lakers, both the Houston Rockets' duo of James Harden and Jeremy Lin and the resurgent Memphis Grizzlies on the road (16-12 and 18-8, respectively), and a home game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder (Who are just a half game out of the best record spot at 21-6). It'll be interesting to see where Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and the Clippers go from here on out. Heck, there might be a new number one seed in the Western Conference from Hollywood if they keep up their current level of play.