Now or never: the Clippers, with everything for the title

The final part of the season is drawing near. With this, the demonstration of which projects aspire to win the title and which do not. the ball does not liehow would Rasheed Wallacelegendary player of the Detroit Pistons. Some did their homework before February 9, date that marked the closing of the market, and others not. Some were left with the desire to aspire to more and others they reinforced their weaknesses, what was missing, to enter the battle with the best possible armor. This is the case of the Clippersthat added pieces to a team that already invited illusion, but that collected doubts from previous years.

The fourth season of the megaproject of Steve Ballmer, franchise owner, and Michael Winger, general manager, promises to meet the expectations set from 2019 and get out of an infinite loop from which it seemed impossible to escape. The arrival of Kawhi Leonard after getting the ring with the raptors the previous season and a Paul George that he wanted to redeem himself from the bad taste in his mouth that remained in Oklahoma They put the spotlights on the other part of the Californian city.

When the names monopolize the covers day in and day out, the spotlights don’t go away, and they shine brighter than ever. Hopes rise and with it pressure. The NBA has shown that having more than two or three stars on your team does not guarantee you any success. The recent case of brooklyn nets is a good example of this. To get the championship, the secondaries take a special role. Without them, success is not understood. The Los Angeles team has been reinforced with pearls with high-level players. They have a better team than ever. The problem is that it is in the West most competitive in the last five years.

The change of stickers could not have gone better. John Wall and reggie jacksontheir bases so far, packed their bags for houstonwhere Wall will be cut off and look for a new adventure, and Denver, where Jackson can play a key role off the bench. In their place came a bones Hyland coming precisely from the Colorado team, almost given away (in exchange for two second rounds), and Russell Westbrookwho did not move from Los Angeles and went to the rival of those from gold and purple.

Bones Hyland (Los Angeles Clippers) vs. Ty Jerome (Golden State Warriors)


Bones Hyland (Los Angeles Clippers) vs. Ty Jerome (Golden State Warriors)Gary A. VasquezUSA TODAY Sports

On a contractual level, a great move. Hyland keeps his contract from the Nuggets (2.2 million dollars this season) and sign a Westbrook with a lot to prove after his time in the lakers. Yes it is true that the base, from his departure from oklahomahas been involved in more negative than positive news and statistics, but the Clippers seem like a place where get free.

The base ran out of allies 34 years. The teams do not want to bet on a player who subtract more than add on the field, and that, although sometimes it can contribute, the franchises are not completely trusted. Paul George, who saw his best individual version at Westbrook’s side, welcomes him with open arms. “We can play well with him and it’s part of our game, like open space on the track”, commented the forward to the media after hearing the news.

deeper than ever

They are added Eric Gordon and Mason Plumlee, two veteran pieces that come to reinforce facets that already had covers and others that were orphaned. The one who was escort of the Houston Rockets during seven seasons Secure points from the bank. It will thus complement a Norman Powell who, until now, had this role, and a Hyland who already stood out from his time at the University of VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) as a party plunger whose style resembles that of the streetball Street map. Show guaranteed also in the second unit of Tyronn Lue.

Plumlee’s case is different. The Clippers needed a internal guarantees that can give rest to zubac and contribute when you are on the field. The former Hornets is the one. work on the hoopspoints under the basket, ease of generating advantages from their blocks and experience. “We missed a player who could replace Zu (Ivica Zubac). Now he can have rest instead of playing more minutes”, commented Kawhi Leonard after the victory in Phoenix before the break All-Star.

Mason Plumlee (Los Angeles Clippers) and Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers) attack against Anthony Lamb (Golden State Warriors)


Mason Plumlee (Los Angeles Clippers) and Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers) attack against Anthony Lamb (Golden State Warriors)Gary A. VasquezUSA TODAY Sports

The arrivals are added to the departures and those already present. Luke Kennard, which came out at the Memphis market close, it may be a noticeable drop. Gordon, Hyland and Powell will try to replace the success of a shooter who marks the second best percentage from triple (46.2%) from 3-pointers in the entire NBA. The Clippers are the 5th best team in this section (38.1%), so the drop from the former Pistons may seem acceptable.

Precisely Gordon returns to what was his home between 2008 and 2011. He himself defined what the past can bring February 13thwhen he finished his first training session with the Angelina shirt at the facilities of beach view. “Everyone other than either of them (Kawhi and George), has to be ready and make quick decisions like shoot or go to the rim,” he said.

“Have all we need. We have game directors, scorers, defenders… We need to find a group identity”, commented George in the locker room after the victory against the Arizona team. maybe the problem I can go through there. With the Kawhi Leonard more healthy, or the one that appears more regularly, in recent months, the roadmap is taking shape. Until then, without a leader, the results depended of the level of Paul George or great sporadic performances from one of the colleagues.

The pieces have always been there. The Clippers have had one of the deepest rosters in recent seasons. Covington, mann, batumi, Marcus Morrisa great talent to develop as BJ Bostonwith spectacular attacking qualities, and players like nate darlingwho is running a big campaign in the Ontario Clippers of the G-League, moussa diabate21 years old French and Amir Coffeyable to put 35 points in an NBA game (vs Oklahoma in April 2022) capable of, if necessary, contributing to the remainder of the regular season. In playoffsas the rotation is limited, it will be time for the signings and the veterans of the dressing room.

Knowing where to go and knowing the function of each one on the way. The way in which champion teams are forged is by having passed a thousand battles togetherfor suffering in the Bad times and celebrate in the good ones. For the first time, since, in 2019, the Clippers threatened the throne of the NBA, hopes can materialize in results. They have achieved the most versatile, experienced and talented since the goal is the championship. It is the moment that seemed impossible to reach, the time to get out of the infinite loop of disappointment and redirect a project that still has a lot to say.

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