Ten games into the 2023-24 NBA season, the Los Angeles Clippers were 3-7 and in 12th place in the Western Conference. And while it was still early on in the schedule, there were some who were writing the team off altogether, ready to call the James Harden trade an abject failure after they lost six straight games following the deal.
Clippers Have Been Hottest Team In The NBA Since December
The Clippers are on a crazy stretch right now 👀🔥 pic.twitter.com/qCcK3BRm7o
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) January 28, 2024
There hasn’t been a hotter team in the league since. The Clippers started the month of December with a losing record at 8-10, but by the time the new calendar year began, they had surged all the way into a tie for 4th place in the West. They went 11-2 in that span, with their only losses coming to teams in the top-2 in their respective conferences.
Things have only gotten better since. Los Angeles has continued its winning ways into January, as they are again 11-2 so far this month, with their two losses coming by a combined 7 points. They have made it all the way into the top-3 in what is currently a 4-team race for the top spot, and the Clippers have a chance to pull ahead of one of the Timberwolves or Thunder after tonight’s action.
There is a full slate of games across the NBA for Monday, with the top-5 teams in each conference scheduled to play throughout the evening. And with things so tightly contested in the Western Conference, there is a chance that we see a shakeup at the top.
Shift In Standings Is Possible On Monday Night
The Clippers are 22-4 over their last 26 games. 🔥
This team is elite. pic.twitter.com/8C89zTk8qu
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 28, 2024
The game of the night will be a battle of the two top teams out West, as the meeting between OKC and Minnesota features two teams with identical 32–14 records. The winner will take sole possession of first place, and there is a possibility that the losing team drops all the way into fourth place.
While the Clippers are currently sitting in the third spot thanks to winning percentage (.682 to .681), they actually have two fewer wins than the Nuggets, who are in fourth. Should they both win on Monday night, they will have a better percentage than the loser of the Wolves/Thunder game, and move down a full three spots.
How likely is the scenario? Both the Clippers and Nuggets will face tough tests against two of the best in the NBA, with LA visiting Cleveland and the Nuggets hosting second-place Milwaukee.
But both are favored, with the Clippers giving a point and a half and the Nuggets coming in with a three point edge.