For the first quarter of the 2016 NBA season, the Los Angeles Clippers were on a hot streak and the best team in the Western Conference, going 14-2 in their first 16 games. After the incredible run, however, the weight of the long season finally got through to them, as they've gone 7-6 ever since then, including a three-game losing bid to start off their downward spiral so far. The Clippers slip down the polls has weighed heavy on the team and the whole organization.

Franchise Rebuilt

Before 2012, the Clippers went five straight seasons without a playoff appearance, with their last being in 2005-2006 when they lost in seven games to the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals.

Their luck soon began to slowly change when awarded with the first pick in the 2009 draft, used it on Oklahoma Sooner's power forward and national college player of the year Blake Griffin. Unfortunately, Griffin was out his whole rookie campaign due to a broken kneecap. When he returned healthy next year, he showed he was the next big thing, playing and starting all 82 games and averaging 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game, as well as being voted to the all-star game and participating in and winning the slam dunk contest. For his accomplishments of the season, he was awarded the Rookie of the Year award.

The next year, the Clippers made it back to the playoffs, where they won in the first round against the Memphis Grizzlies, before being pulverized by the San Antonio Spurs.

During the span that Griffin entered the league and excelled, new faces came to the Clippers roster, like point guard Chris Paul, who came in 2011 in a trade from the New Orleans Hornets and shooting guard J.J. Redick, who came from the Orlando Magic in 2013. There was also the emergence of center DeAndre Jordan, who has proven to be a dominant force in the paint.

With additions of recognizable veterans like shooting guard Jamal Crawford and small forward Paul Pierce, the Clippers are now a competitive force in the NBA.

Season starts with a Splash

After finishing last season with a quick playoff exit at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers and losing Paul during that series to a broken hand, the Clippers looked for a fresh start coming into the season.

In the season opener on Oct. 27 against the Trail Blazers, the Clippers won 114-106, with both Griffin and Paul leading the way, scoring 27 points respectively, along with 13 rebounds for Griffin. They won their next two contests against the Utah Jazz and Suns, but in their next game against the Thunder, the Clippers fought hard, but lost a close 85-83 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Afterwards, a seven-game winning streak put the team on top of the western conference, followed a four-game streak after a loss to the Grizzlies on Nov. 16. The Clippers seemed to be unstoppable, but after their 124-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on the 23rd, it started going downhill.

The Struggle Begins

After starting the season 14-2, the Clippers started to go in a downwind spiral, starting with losing their next three games, which saw their first place position slip to the Golden State Warriors. A slight improvement in play then started to show, as they have 8-3 after their three-game skid. Nonetheless, since their incredible season start, the Clippers have 8-6 so far, with their recent win being a 106-101 victory against the Spurs on Thursday, and have fallen to fourth place at 22-8. Some bad news came recently as Griffin is expected to miss an extended period due to knee surgery. With the way their season is going now, the Clippers are still a top contender in their conference, but to get back to the top, they have to overcome their toughest opponents.

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