I’m sure there’s a better way of saying it, but let’s be clear, the Clippers may have left San Diego many many years ago, but San Diego never left the Clippers. After starting 8-10 through their first 18 games (including a six-game losing streak post-Harden trade) the Clippers looked like the best team since the ’96 Bulls, winning their next 26 games out of 31 and showing the NBA that old heads can play. And stay pretty healthy.

But then, in the last 21 games, things have sorta gone from healthy old head to old ‘n busted as the Clips have gone 10-11 in that span. The reasons? Hello Darkness, my old friend. During the last month, we’ve had Kawhi somewhat limited with back issues (back spasms caused an early exit against a big game against the T’Wolves), James Harden has been dealing with some shoulder issues, and of course Paul George is dealing with being Paul George, being an ultimate chucker with a minor pelvic strain. All this is to say is that when the Clippers are healthy and rolling, they’re a hard team to stop. But once Paul George becomes Playoff-Pete and the health starts degrading a bit, we get this version of Los Angeles and after a loss that epitomized everything I just said against the 76ers last night, it’s hard to imagine what this team is capable of; is it a chip or a short play-in stint?

The Bucks have seemed to turn it on as of late. Despite the move to fire their coach to bring in Doc Rivers, to be also fired after the playoffs, (I just assume just based on what we’ve seen before), the growing pains seemed to have been contained to the All-Star period with another statement win, this time against the Thunder where SGA went an uncharacteristic -17, putting up 12/3/2/3 on 5-12 shooting with 4 turnovers. Giannis Antetokounmpo of course brought in a monster double-double with 30 points, 19 rebounds and 4 assist.

Not for nothing, but Giannis has put up 36/14/6 and gone 4-1 against the Nuggets, Mavs and now the Thunder this season…

Speaking of monster double-doubles (also the nickname of his brow), Anthony Davis put up 36 points and 16 rebounds on 72% shooting in a Lakers win against the Pacers.

Seeing has how it’s been six years since his last, Khris Middleton ended up with a very Draymond triple-double, going 11/10/10.

Is it possible that Zion has finally worked off his weight during his in-season play? Since pre-All-Star, he’s been killing it and the Pelicans have been on fire and is just coming off a 36/7/6 performance on 93% shooting.

The Celtics have clinched the East’s #1 seed to no ones surprise. Our early season Power Rankings had them at the top and the reasoning was that the offense is just too good with amazing utility. The only thing that would hold them back is health and lo and behold, health has been stable (looking at you Porzingis).

I see them taking on either the Bucks or 76ers in the Conference Finals, but based on the history and story lines for the Bucks and 76ers for their series, I wouldn’t be surprised if those two teams both found a way to lose at the same time, thereby just anointing the Celtics to the Finals…