Why They Might Be Good: It’s still difficult to accept the fact that last season—when they were healthy—these perpetual doormats sported one of the most reliable starting lineups in the league, led by rock Elton Brand. But as solid as they were in ’06, they shored up their roster with the signings of professionally-diagnosed depressive forward Vin Baker and hilariously named center Boniface Ndong.
Why They Might Suck: Don’t let the gaudy record and the impressive playoff performance fool you. Donald Sterling is still the team’s owner, thus implosion is always a possibility. For example, a team source says, “Sterling is mulling over a trade with Dallas: Elton Brand for the Mavs’ 2010 second round draft pick and an autographed Erick Dampier jersey.”
The Dude Other Than Brand I Want on My Fantasy Team: Corey Maggette. Best biceps in the league since David Robinson. Best Italian last name for an African-American dude in the league since Raheem Pasta Fagiole.
Bottom Line: Save for some Sterling idiocy or an age-driven skill decline in mega-veteran guard Sam Cassell, look for the Clips to sneak into the second round of the playoffs. Jump on the bandwagon before it gets overcrowded with Billy Crystal acolytes.