Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Clippers won a game Saturday on a made free throw by DeAndre Jordan.And who says this team didn’t improve enough in the offseason?Clinching a victory on Jordan’s free throwing is no more unlikely than the Clippers doing so on J.J. Redick’s oboe playing.Winning in this manner is all the proof necessary that anything is possible in life, not to mention in the NBA, where the consensus is the Clippers will need a miracle of similar proportions this season to secure the franchise’s first title. If the Rams can sit atop the NFC West, even for just a week, why can’t the Clippers rise above the Warriors in a performance equally as stunning?Well, for one thing, Golden State added Kevin Durant in the offseason and the Clippers added Marreese Speights.For another, the Warriors have been to consecutive NBA Finals and the Clippers still haven’t survived beyond the postseason’s second round. Ever.For a third, Steph Curry has won seven playoff series the past two seasons and Chris Paul has won four in 11 years.The gap between these rivals is still deep and wide enough to produce an echo, one that returns to the Clippers like a slap across the face.Along with Speights, the Clippers also have added Brandon Bass, Raymond Felton and Alan Anderson.So they do look better. But they still don’t look good enough.Like the rest of the Western Conference, the Clippers will open the season wondering if they can remain within an arm’s length of the Warriors. And here, I’m talking about one of 6-foot-11 Jordan’s arms.As recently as May of 2014, the Clippers beat Golden State in a playoff series. The next season, however, the Warriors won the NBA championship.They leapt forward after a coaching change and with notable improvement to varying degrees by Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes. They also became a tougher team to make baskets against.The question for the Clippers today: Where is their notable — and necessary — improvement going to come from?Blake Griffin can be better, first off by being healthier. He’s attempting to add a more consistent 3-point shot these days, something that could expand his game in more ways than one.At 28, Jordan also still has time to grow his skills, his experience this summer with the U.S. Olympic team the same platform from which other NBA players have boosted careers.But, as for the rest of the roster, the Clippers are exactly what they appear to be at the moment — a team still among the best in the league but nowhere near being the best in the league.“We’ve added better players and we’ve added some toughness,” said Rivers, who probably is right, especially as it concerns Speights.As a former Warriors reserve, the 6-10 center also improved significantly two years ago entering the team’s title-winning season.But, for whatever reason, as Golden State attempted to defend its championship, Speights’ minutes and production fluctuated so much that, by the end, a divorce was necessary.“I think this team has a chance, a real chance,” Speights said of the Clippers. “Look at the talent around here. This is a very good team. I could see something big happening this season.”There is one thing to keep in mind about the NBA, the most predictable of all our major sports leagues. Even when you think you know exactly what’s going to happen, Kevin Durant flees Oklahoma City.That’s right. And the Warriors were locks to win the title in the spring. And LeBron James never would return to Cleveland. And Kobe Bryant was going to leave the Lakers how many times?Personally, I don’t see this one happening. No way. These Clippers are just too similar to all those other Clippers.I can’t find enough reasons why Chris Paul’s sixth season should end any better than his previous five here.But then, I never thought I’d see the Clippers win the way they did Saturday, either. Somewhat ironically and completely fittingly, Jordan’s performance at the line Saturday also lost a game for the Clippers, his converted free throw capping the scoring in an intrasquad scrimmage that ended 54-53.By going 1 for 2 in the final five seconds, Jordan brought to an end the team’s training camp at UC Irvine, 50 percent an acceptable success rate on which to go out, particularly for a player whose career free-throw accuracy is eight points lower.“If you’re going to script a way to end a game that was pretty good, with D.J. making a free throw,” coach Doc Rivers said with a laugh. “That was good.”So, even as the Clippers departed Orange County afterward still trailing the Golden State Warriors on paper — and pretty much any patch of hardwood available — this much should be noted:The last team to hold its training camp here began Sunday as the most shocking first-place entry in the NFL.