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NBA Basketball: First impressions of Clippers may last

December 20, 2011

10 THINGS WE LEARNED

1. These guys will be fun to watch. There are never-ending storylines with this team, from Blake Griffin's development from star rookie to outright star to point guard Chris Paul's adjustment to life in the spotlight to veterans Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler taking a young team under their collective wing. Above all, though, is simply that the 2011-12 Los Angeles Clippers will probably be the most exciting team in the NBA to watch on a nightly basis. There's a special NBA League Pass package -- less expensive than the full version -- that offers fans the choice of any five teams in the league to watch every night. You can't convince me that half the subscribing fans in the world won't be putting the Clippers on their lists, alongside the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.

2. Chris Paul's good. It was only preseason, sure, and he played only 24 minutes, but Paul's plus-minus figures from Monday's game do a great job of explaining just how dominant he can be on an NBA floor. When he was on the court, the Clippers led the Lakers by 26 points. When he wasn't, they lost by seven. That was the best ratio of anybody in the game and a full 10 points better than Griffin's.

3. They call it "Lob City," and rightfully so. Griffin and DeAndre Jordan ached to get lob attempts from tipoff, and they finally got it when Paul connected nicely with Jordan midway through the second quarter. Lakers center Andrew Bynum smartly stepped in front of another try later in the first half, but Paul and Jordan had three total connections -- at least one of which is guaranteed to be a "SportsCenter" Top 10 highlight. (MORE>>>)

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