2018-2019 Off the Glass Team Preview Series: Los Angeles Clippers
Sports on Earth
The 2018-2019 NBA season starts October 16th and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the Los Angeles Clippers.
42-40, 2nd in the Pacific Division. Did not qualify for the playoffs
After promising Blake Griffin the world, the team flipped the five-time All-Star to the Detroit Pistons back in January. In return, LA got intriguing players like Avery Bradley and Tobias Harris, but more importantly officially moved on from the Lob City era. Last year was the first time that LAC failed to qualify for the postseason since the 2010-11 season. The Clippers also failed to eclipse 50 wins on the season for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign.
Austin Rivers (PG/SG); DeAndre Jordan (C ); CJ Williams (SG); Sam Dekker (SF/PF)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG); Jerome Robinson (SG); Marcin Gortat (PF/C); Luc Mbah a Moute (SF/PF); Mike Scott (C)
Player to Watch:
A new chapter of Clippers basketball has officially begun, but LAC is far from rebuilding. It was a rather impressive reload for the Clips, and the roster is an assortment of strong talents.
If Avery Bradley, Danilo Gallinari, and Patrick Beverley can stay healthy, they join Tobias Harris and Marcin Gortat in a squad of established veterans. Rookies Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson gives Doc Rivers’ club a bit of youth and intrigue, while the bench is also loaded with tried and true NBA caliber-players too.
It’s a bit of a hodge-podge for the Clippers, but there’s a chance it works. At the very least, the team has desirable assets should the right trade partner come along.
Worst Case Scenario:
Awkward fits and nagging injury could keep the Clippers from ever finding out their true ceiling. With Wesley Johnson as the only Lob City holdover, the team is in desperate need of a new identity. It could be the case that this collection of players simply doesn’t mesh, and no good trade offer comes about for second year President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank.
Best Case Scenario:
The Clippers have a few fringe All-Star level players who could make some noise even in a crowded West. LA will play tight on-ball defense, with one of the feistiest backcourts in the league. Both Gallinari and Harris, meanwhile, can score the ball in a hurry.
The Clippers won’t compete with the best of the best. But there’s a chance this team can make some noise and more than hold its own against the conference’s second tier. As such, LAC has a shot of snagging a highly-coveted spot in the Western Conference Playoffs.
38-44, 3rd in the Pacific Division.