No one's rushing to anoint the Los Angeles Clippers, who at 22-6 own the NBA's best record. They're not exactly impressed with themselves, either - despite a franchise-record 14-game winning streak.
''It is still early in the season and we have a lot to prove to the rest of the league,'' Matt Barnes said after he helped the Clippers' reserves outscore their starters in a 112-100 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.
No less an authority than Kobe Bryant is complimentary.
''They're playing extremely well,'' Bryant said after leading the Lakers to their fifth straight win, 100-94 over the New York Knicks in the first game of a Christmas doubleheader at Staples Center. ''They're coming at you in waves and waves.''
The Clippers have taken advantage of a soft stretch in their schedule to win a franchise-record 14 in a row, although they have earlier wins over some of the league's elite teams such as the Lakers, defending champion Miami, Memphis, and San Antonio twice.