What is the Clippers’ Ceiling– And Will They Reach It?
The Los Angeles Clippers are amongst the most fascinating groups in the NBA this season. They have certainly one of the most star-studded rosters in the NBA, headlined by the two-way prowess of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. These two forwards lead a bunch crammed with stable position gamers and playmakers, together with Russell Westbrook, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac, Mason Plumlee and Terance Mann.
Falling Out of Favor
The preseason NBA championship odds noticed the Clippers as certainly one of the favorites to win all of it. Nonetheless, now in the center of March, they’ve presently earned solely 36 wins and 33 losses. That’s tied for the fifth spot in the west, however the Golden State Warriors presently personal the tie-breaker, inserting Los Angeles at the 6-seed.
That’s an underwhelming spot for the Clippers. They entered the season with championship aspirations, but are combating to remain out of the Play-In Event. The Play-In, certainly one of the NBA’s most up-to-date modifications to the playoff format, sees the 7 and eight seeds play one another in a single recreation for the 7 seed. The loser faces the winner of the 9 vs. 10-seed, and the winner of that recreation earns the 8 spot. The opposite two groups are eradicated from playoff rivalry.
Having to struggle simply to make the first spherical of the playoffs is a activity the Clippers hope to keep away from. Something can occur in single video games, and Los Angeles definitely doesn’t wish to threat their season in such trend.
So, what is the Clippers’ ceiling?
The reply is the NBA Finals.
It’s not unreasonable to imagine the Clippers can get it collectively, safe a top-6 seed, and make a “Cinderella” run all the approach to the NBA championship. Though, seeing as the crew was certainly one of the favorites for the championship coming into this season, it’s debatable whether or not that’d be a stunning run.
However there’s no doubting that, given their present spot in the standings, a run to the Finals could be an immense problem. Nonetheless, there’s one huge motive to imagine the Clippers can overcome it:
Leonard has missed lots of time since becoming a member of the Clippers, largely resulting from the notorious “load administration.” But it surely’s necessary to not neglect his unimaginable abilities. Leonard is amongst the greatest defenders in the NBA, his capacity to steal the ball and block pictures being his trademark. He’s no slouch on the different finish of the flooring, both, being certainly one of the best scorers. He’s averaging 23.6 factors, 6.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.6 blocks per recreation this season.
Along with his stable common season stats, Kawhi is identified for elevating his recreation in the postseason. Throughout the Toronto Raptors’ run to the championship in 2019, of which Leonard was aside, he displayed a stage of clutch play solely seen from the likes of Lebron James, Kevin Durant or Larry Chook. It’s not going too far to say he single-handedly carried the crew to the title.
That’s what is likely to be in retailer for the Clippers this 12 months. They’ve had an inconsistent season, however there’s all the time potential for the crew to begin clicking and turn into an enormous menace in the postseason.
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