Evaluating the Los Angeles Clippers Roster in 2020-21
After overhauling the coaching staff and adding/subtracting a few pieces, the Clips are locked and loaded to make a run at the title. Things didn’t go according to plan once LA immersed themselves in the bubble, but fortunately, the 2020-21 campaign represents a clean slate.
Let’s examine the Los Angeles Clippers roster and find out if this team can sincerely contend with the “other” team in Hollywood.
The 2020-21 LA Clippers Roster
- Key Additions: Serge Ibaka, Luke Kennard, Nic Batum
- Key Losses: Montrezl Harrel, Landry Shamet, JaMychal Green
- PG – Patrick Beverly
- SG – Paul George
- SF – Kawhi Leonard
- PF – Marcus Morris
- C – Serge Ibaka
Montrezl Harrell’s departure leaves less of a sting, thanks to inking Serge Ibaka to a deal. Ibaka figures to slide into the starting five and kick Ivica Zubac to the bench, but otherwise, the rest of the starting unit remains unchanged.
Last season's setback should be extra motivation for Marcus Morris and the Clippers moving forward ? pic.twitter.com/rPbdFvpjoq— Clippers Nation (@ClipperNationCP) December 3, 2020
Laundry List of Reserves
- Lou Williams
- Luke Kennard
- Ivica Zubac
- Nic Batum
- Mfiondu Kabengele
- Reggie Jackson
- Daniel Oturu
- Patrick Patterson
The Clippers second unit played a massive role in the team’s success last year. Hence, only the Wizards scored more bench points per game. Lou Williams has poured in 20.4 points/game since joining the Clips in 2017, not to mention, he’s tacked on his second and third 6th-Man of the Year awards.
Lue and the entire Clippers coaching staff know that they’re going to get out of Sweet Lou, and Ivica Zubac offers a presence in the paint who can clean up on the offensive glass.
The reserve who will be counted on to provide the biggest lift is sweet-shooting lefty Luke Kennard. Acquired in a three-team trade that sent Landry Shamet to the Nets, Kennard was averaging 15.8 points for the Pistons when a knee injury derailed his season in late December. The disciple of Coach K possesses the ability to play off the ball and space the floor – both of which should do wonders for the flow of this offense.
Best Player at the LA Clippers – Kawhi Leonard
Some say it’s LeBron, others say it’s Giannis. As good as they both are, I still think Kawhi Leonard is the best player in the league. Perhaps the way Kawhi was treated in LA rubbed some of his teammates the wrong way, but it’s impossible to deny the level of competitiveness the “Klaw” brings to the court.
We’re talking about the best perimeter defender in basketball who also happens to be one of the most creative and efficient scorers in the sport. Coming off averaging a career-high in points (27.1) and assists (4.9), expect to see a hungry and motivated Leonard in 2020-21.
The Clippers X-Factor – Ivica Zubac
Heading into last season, Ivica Zubac was being extolled left and right. I was one of the many who expected him to take a leap after averaging 9.4 points and 7.7 rebounds in 2018-19. Unfortunately for the 23-year-old seven-footer, things went south.
Zubac’s scoring and rebounding plunged, and he was a virtual non-factor for much of the playoffs. It didn’t help that there was a clear disconnect between him and Marcus Morris.
The good news is Ivica appears reinvigorated after performing so poorly in the bubble. Maybe now he’s ready to ascend up the big-man rankings.
Final Assessment of the Los Angeles Clippers Roster
The Lakers may have more balance, but don’t sleep on the Los Angeles Clippers roster. A lot hinges on how well Paul George plays, and Kawhi needs to find a way to bring this group together. Nevertheless, Jerry West and Lawrence Frank have constructed a squad that is more than capable of being the last team standing.
I can’t wait until December 22nd arrives, and it all starts to unfold.