For as bad as the James Harden era in LA got off to, the Clippers are very much playing like a championship contender at the moment. And that's the biggest reason why they deserve an "A" letter grade at the midway point of the season. LA entered this season with two priorities. First, they had to figure out how to remain healthy and two, they needed to add a final piece to their championship puzzle.
Through the first half of this season, the Clippers have accomplished both of those goals. Kawhi has only missed four games this season and Paul George has only missed two. They also added a motivated Harden in the middle of the season. Whether the public is willing to admit it or not, the Clippers are very much a real contender to win it all.
The tall task for the Clippers will be to win the championship. That's the next step for a team that has been close before. It won't be easy in a deep Western Conference but the Clippers are positioned in a way where they're going to be one of the favorites to get the job done.