The Los Angeles Clippers took huge strides this off-season by acquiring Kawhi Leonard, who is arguably one of the best players in the league, fresh off of carrying the Toronto Raptors to the first NBA Championship in franchise history and winning finals MVP. They also brought in Paul George, who was in the MVP race this previous year and is […]
The Los Angeles Clippers took huge strides this off-season by acquiring Kawhi Leonard, who is arguably one of the best players in the league, fresh off of carrying the Toronto Raptors to the first NBA Championship in franchise history and winning finals MVP. They also brought in Paul George, who was in the MVP race this previous year and is arguably one of the best two-way guards in the league. His only issue is being able to stay healthy for a whole year.
I believe with this team and the talent they have on the roster. Most of the roster is great defenders and just downright dogs with guys like Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell, who by the way, in my opinion, is a very underrated player not only on that roster but in the whole league.
This team is set to be like the 2004 Detroit Pistons with a very good defense efficiency rating. This team and I’m willing to bet on it, will make the NBA Finals during the Kawhi and PG-13 era, multiple times.
- Patrick Beverley
- Amir Coffey *Two-Way
- Derrick Walton
- Lou Williams
Even though Williams is a dominant point guard that comes off the bench, that still doesn’t stop him from averaging 20+ points per game. Although I do not like the fact that he doesn’t want to start, every team does need a spark plug off the bench to either keep their team in the lead or help their team charge for a comeback. Beverley is one of those players where you hate to play against him but love to play with him. He’s an annoying player that loves to get in the head of your best player. Even though he isn’t at the top of the list as one of the best players in the league, he is a guy that does things that don’t end up on the stat sheet; diving for loose balls and help make a stop on your end of the court to make it easier for your team to score. Coffey is a rookie out of Minnesota, who is expected to make most of his appearance in the G-League. Wilson is coming back for his second season but is going to be making an appearance with a new team. Last season he was part of the Miami Heat but didn’t make that much of an impact as much as he did in college. With a new team, I believe he expects to have a bigger role.
- Terance Mann
- Rodney McGruder
- Jerome Robinson
- Landry Shamet
Shamet is personally one of my favorite young players in the league, ever since his time at Wichita State. He has been making an impact on every team he played for. Even with his short time with the 76ers, I believe he learned his shooting abilities from the great JJ Reddick.
Honestly, if you look at both shooting motions between the two stars, you can kind of see the similarities in not only the shooting motion but also the way on how they get their shots, which is off a high screen at the top of the key for a quick three. Mann and McGruder are both still young in this league and are trying to figure out where they fit in. McGruder is coming from anther team and is going to go through a new role of trying to fit into his new team. Robinson is coming back for his second year in the league and is expecting to bring back what he learned last season and expand on it a little more this upcoming season.
- Paul George
- Donte Grantham
- Maurice Harkless
- Mfiondu Kabengele
- Kawhi Leonard
George and Leonard are the newcomers on the team but don’t expect them to not come in and not make an eventful impact on the game and make some noise early in the season. These two players being part of your frontcourt can make an opponent very difficult to score on them and they will also give you problems on the offensive end as well. Even though we won’t see George start at the beginning of the season, expect him to make an impact when he does come back from his injury.
- JaMychal Green
- Montrezl Harrell
- Jonathan Motley *Two-Way
Harrell is another player I have been watching since his college days at Louisville and every year I have seen improvement. He’s very underrated for his size and he shows that every time he steps on the court. Look for him to play both the power forward and center position during the season. Motley is a player that will spend most of his time in the G-League like Coffey, but he will be ready when his number is called to play in the NBA every now and then. Green has been around for a while but could never stay on one team for so long. Other than his four-year tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies, he hasn’t stayed in one place.
- Ivica Zubac
Zubac is coming back for his third year in the league and is making quite a name for himself after being with the Lakers the start of his career then moving next door to the Clippers. He has found himself a home that he could grow and strive with. Expect him and Harrell to rotate at the center position throughout the year.
Doc Rivers is a coach that you know eventually he will be in the Hall of Fame one day. He has taken a team that has struggled year after year and has finally turned them into a championship-caliber team. The franchise thought they had a chance when they had Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan on the team. But, with new names that can actually play defense, he has a chance to add to get a second ring to add to his 2008 Boston Celtics ring.
Projected Lineup/ Roster Cuts
- PG: Patrick Beverley
- SG/SF: Kawhi Leonard
- SF: Paul George
- PF: Montrezl Harrell
- C: Ivica Zubac
- Sixth Man: Lou Williams
- Rest of the Bench: Landry Shamet, Maurice Harkless, JaMychal Green, Rodney McGruder, Jerome Robinson, Patrick Patterson, Mfiondu Kadengele, Terance Mann
- Two-Way Players: Johnathan Motley, Amir Coffey
- Roster Cuts: Donte Grantham, Derrick Walton
At the end of the day, this team is very special. They have the potential to go down as one of the best defensive teams in the history of the NBA. When you combine two of the best defenders in the league in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and two players in Harrell and Beverley who play like they are never playing again, they can turn into a very scary team.
Look for this team to go very deep in the playoffs and cause a lot of teams trouble on both offensive and defensive end of the floor.