NBA Team Preview: Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are coming off of a disappointing Western Conference Finals loss against the Phoenix Suns. However, the team showed promise as they were able to defeat the Utah Jazz in the postseason even after losing Kawhi Leonard. With Leonard expected to miss the majority of the upcoming campaign due to injury, the Clippers will need Paul George to step up in a major way.
Offseason Additions and Subtractions
Perhaps the most important move the Clippers made this offseason was re-signing Kawhi Leonard to a 4-year deal. They were also able to re-sign important pieces such as Nicholas Batum and Reggie Jackson.
The most discussed transaction Los Angeles made came when they agreed to trade Rajon Rondo, Patrick Beverly, and Daniel Oturu to the Memphis Grizzlies for a former Clipper in Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe returns to the Clippers and offers an intense defensive mindset with solid scoring ability from the guard position.
Rondo was never a great fit with the Clippers. He just simply did not mesh with the team. Trading Beverly away was questionable, as his tenacity helped to give the team a bulldog type of identity last year. But the addition of Bledsoe saves the Clippers some money in luxury tax and gives them another talented guard to play alongside Reggie Jackson.
Justise Winslow was a welcome addition to the team as well. The former Grizzlies forward offers a strong defensive presence in the absence of Kawhi Leonard. This move would have been beneficial regardless of Leonard’s playing status, but since he is out Winslow will be a key cog in the ignition for the Clippers this season.
While it was not an extremely busy offseason, the Clippers did enough to remain competitive in a difficult Western Conference.
The Clippers will live and die based on how Paul George performs this season. He has always been a good player, but they need him to post MVP type of numbers as a leader of this team with Leonard out.
George stepped up during the playoffs last year and showed the ability to come through in clutch situations. If he continues that trend, the Clippers should be alright during the 2021-2022 campaign.
Reggie Jackson made an all-star bid last season. He has turned into an effective point guard, and the Clippers are hoping he can become a solid number two option behind Paul George.
Jackson has improved in the scoring department over the past couple of seasons, and also offers a strong basketball I.Q. and impressive athleticism. If Jackson continues to advance his skills, the Clippers will certainly be in good shape.
Clippers 2021-2022 Odds
While the Clippers are not the favorites to win the championship, they are expected to make the postseason. When making your online sports betting picks, take a look at these odds for the Los Angeles Clippers.
NBA Championship Odds: +2000. Western Conference Odds: +900 Pacific Division Odds: +1200 Projected Win Total: 45.5
These NBA betting lines give the Clippers a chance to be competitive. However, if they want to make a deep postseason run they are going to have to beat the odds.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.