The Los Angeles Clippers retooled their roster in the off-season with every intention to compete in 2019. The era of Lob City may be over, but the Clippers are still poised to make a run at the playoffs in the wild Western Conference.
The strength of the Clippers lies in the backcourt, where they have plenty of depth, scoring, and defense. Patrick Beverley returns from last year’s season-ending injury, and Avery Bradley re-signed on a two-year deal. Beverley and Bradley are two of the best defensive guards in the NBA, causing havoc on opposing ball handlers. When looking for an offensive punch, head coach Doc Rivers can turn to Milos Teodosic, the Euro point guard whose flashy passes bring fans off their seats, or Lou Williams, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year. The youth movement is real too - LA drafted guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson with their two lottery picks in this year’s draft. The combination of veterans, rookies, shooters, and lock down defenders should make the Clippers backcourt one of the most interesting in the league.
During the summer the Clippers traded for center Marcin Gortat in exchange for guard Austin Rivers. After a successful career in Orlando, Phoenix, and Washington, Gortat heads to Los Angeles as DeAndre Jordan’s replacement. He is a quality starting center who is excellent in the pick and roll and can finish well around the rim. Gortat is joined by Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris in the frontcourt. When healthy Gallinari is a great scorer and shooter, and Tobias Harris is one of the most underrated players in the game. Harris is a combo forward with versatility and the ability to score from anywhere on the floor.
Despite losing former franchise cornerstones Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan in the past year, the LA Clippers are still here to compete. New acquisitions, a deep roster, and a summer to recover from last year’s injury-depleted season will help the Clippers in 2018-19.
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