The Clippers Are About To Find Out What They Are Made Of
It’s been an awesome 7 game stretch of Clippers basketball over the past two weeks. The Clips won 6 of 7, with their only loss in this stretch on a second game of a back to back against the fully healthy Cavaliers with almost their entire roster sitting out. They are beginning to stack games with Kawhi and Paul George both in the lineup and the results are there. In almost every game they’ve been down and clawed their way back out, coming back by as much as 19 against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. After having a ridiculously slow start offensively to start the season, the Clippers are officially ranked 6th in Offensive Rating since December 17th. Before that? 29th. The strides are there, but a gauntlet lies ahead of them.
Throughout this stretch, the Clippers have been individually thriving. In the past eleven games, Kawhi Leonard has been nothing short of incredible. Having one of the best stints in his career, Kawhi is averaging 29.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.2 apg, and 2.0 spg. He’s doing all of this while shooting 55/46.7/92. These splits are absurd. The Klaw is back and the results speak for themselves. PG has added 23 ppg, 6 rpg, 6 apg on 50/40/90 shooting. When you have both of your stars actually playing, and playing at an extremely high level, good things happen. Norman Powell has also been huge leading the league in points off the bench and cementing his status as an elite 6th Man of the Year. Zubac has also been elite despite the fact that the box score might not highlight this. He has 247 screen assists this season and has contested 596 shots. Both of these statistics rank him as 2nd in the league of these respective categories. He’s been a difference maker.
While there have been many positives, the next five weeks are going to make or break this team. As of now, the Clippers are 4th in the West with a record of 29-25. Their next fourteen games are all against current playoff teams: Bucks, Nets, Knicks, Mavs, Suns, Warriors, Kings, Grizzlies, and many others. The Clippers have had a relatively easy strength of schedule so far. One aspect of this on upcoming stint that’s on their side? No back to back games until March 2nd. The month of February will prove to be massive to the organization and whether or not they are ready to be marked as legit.
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