LA Clippers: What is most to blame for LA's post-NBA All-Star Break collapse?

The LA Clippers have completely collapsed since the NBA All-Star Break. What is to blame?

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Clippers
Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Clippers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

What is to blame the most for the LA Clippers' post-NBA All-Star Break collapse? We try to get to the bottom of it.

In early February, it was clear that the LA Clippers were emerging into a legit championship contender in the Western Conference. With the NBA Playoffs on the horizon, it was clear that the Clippers were going to play a big role in who would come out of the Western Conference.

Then, it all changed.

All of a sudden, the Clippers' collapse began. Specifically, since February 7, the Clippers have looked like a completely different team. The Clippers went from being considered a team that could potentially win the West to one that would be lucky to even win one playoff series. They've looked old, inconsistent, and overmatched on most nights in the last 6-7 weeks of the season.

But, in the midst of an epic collapse, what's changed the most for the Clippers? That's not an easy question to answer. But there is one clear place to start, on the defensive end.

The LA Clippers have all of a sudden forgotten how to play defense

Of all the issues the Clippers have faced over the last few weeks, including a massive injury to Russell Westbrook, it's their defensive inconsistencies that pop the most. From the beginning of the season through the NBA All-Star Break, the Clippers had a 13th-ranked defensive rating. Not a great defense but certainly one that would be good enough to compete for a championship, especially considering the Clippers had a top 3 offensive rating to go along with it.

However, since the NBA All-Star Break, the Clippers' defense has fallen off dramatically. Since the resumption of the season, the Clippers have the third-worst defensive rating in the league. Their offense has also taken a hit but they're still ranked top 10 in offensive rating.

But with how bad they've been on the defensive end of the floor, the Clippers don't have much of a shot on most nights if their offensive isn't hitting on all cylinders. And there lies the biggest problem for the Clippers since the NBA All-Star Break. Unless something changes drastically on that end of the floor, this is a team that is going to have real difficulty in winning even a first-round playoff series.

If you look at the top of the West standings, each of the top 4 teams has had a top 7 defensive rating since the NBA All-Star Break. The Clippers are ranked 28th during that same span. It's a problem, a big one at that. At this rate, they're better at contesting their own shots than they are at defending their opponents.

The Clippers' post-NBA All-Star Break collapse needs to be studied. And I imagine we'll get the full story at some point during the offseason. Right now, it's hard not to point at their effort on the defensive end of the floor as the biggest culprit.

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