As we approach the start of training camp in the NBA, there have already been a few teams that have separated themselves as contenders for the Larry O’Brien trophy. After losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals this year, the Boston Celtics are the odds on favorites right now. The Warriors are right behind them with the second-highest odds.
One of the teams right on their heels is the LA Clippers. There are a lot of people that believe the Clippers have the deepest roster in the league and they have a strong argument in favor of that.
As one NBA scout that spoke to NBA Analysis Network pointed out, the biggest thing facing the Clippers is their health. If their key players can stay on the court, they are going to be a tough team to beat during the upcoming season.
“With the Clippers, it’s always been about ‘can they stay healthy?’ That just hasn’t happened yet in the last few years. I like what they’ve done over the last year to really bolster their roster. Robert Covington and Norman Powell were great additions that I think are getting overlooked a bit now. John Wall should be maximized there with all of the spacing as well.”
John Wall has made appearances in only one out of the last three seasons because of injuries and the Houston Rockets holding him out in search of a trade. Kawhi Leonard missed the entire 2021-22 season as he recovered from ACL surgery and Paul George played in only 31 games.
Robert Covington and Norman Powell, who were acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of the trade deadline, provide the team with even more versatility. Having them and Wall as part of the rotation gives Tyronn Lue even more options when it comes to lineup combinations as they can match up with any kind of opponents.
“Covington is a piece that will help them be really tough playing small for longer. They’ve had a lot of success with Batum at the five, now they have Covington to utilize that way. … Powell gives them another scoring threat they previously didn’t have. He’s a legitimate sharpshooter but also a threat to attack off the bounce more than their other options. … Wall makes it all interesting. He’ll be well-rested, so I expect him to get into the paint effectively still. With all of their shooting? That’s a great option.”
The Clippers can beat you in several ways offensively. They have Leonard and George as the hubs of the offense but there is plenty of complementary players around them that can carry the load as well.
They are going to be tough to slow down, but it is actually the Clippers’ defense that could be the strength of the team. Virtually all of the lineup combinations that Lue will deploy will have at least two or three above-average defenders. That is something that the scout believes is their biggest advantage.
“It’s going to be very challenging to score on this Clippers defense. They can switch everything even more effectively now and can play the passing lanes. There is plenty of on-ball defensive options they can throw on top threats. They have great options to make the deep kick to the weak side more challenging too, with their length. .. They’ve got a lot of shooting overall around Wall, George, and Leonard. That’s a great team.”
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The Clippers are built for the long haul with the roster that they have put together. After reaching the Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2021, they will be looking to set another franchise first this upcoming season by making a trip to the finals.
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