It sure doesn't feel like it, but the Clippers are actually slightly ahead of where they were last season.
Through 36 games last year, the Clippers' record was 23-13. This season, they're at 24-12.
J.J. Redick said he looked up that stat the other day, and was surprised by what he saw. He said the team's expectations for themselves has been higher this season, so there's been more frustration relative to last year.
"Not including the media and the fans but, internally, there was an expectation when we started training camp that we'd just kind of pick up where we left off," Redick said. "But we all saw it in preseason that we weren't where we needed to be. So there was a level of frustration there. There was a level of frustration at the beginning of the season."
The Clippers have won four of their last five games and are in sixth place in the Western Conference, 5-1/2 games behind the first-place Golden State Warriors.
Last season, they made to the second round of the playoffs, where they lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder. This season they're trying to make it past the second round for the first time in franchise history.
The Clippers, however, are 7-10 against teams with winning records.
"I think we're still trying to find ourselves against the really good teams," Redick said.
The Clippers have seen a lot of improvement from when they started the season. They've improved in field goal percentage, from shooting 43% in Oct. to shooting 48.8% so far in Jan. And they've made leaps in three-point shooting as well, from shooting 30.2% in Oct. to shooting 35.8% in January.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers has also seen glimmers of great defense from his team, praising his team's most recent defensive effort in their 114-89 win over the Lakers on Wednesday.
"Our defensive intensity was really high, so that was good to see," Rivers said after the Clippers' win.
So even though the Clippers may not be where they want to be at the moment, they're continuing to improve and are even a bit ahead of where they were at this time last season.