Los Angeles Clippers: Are the playoffs obtainable in 2018?

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Clippers may have fallen out of the LA limelight due to LeBron James, however, the team will be one of the most interesting next season.

With the 2018-2019 NBA season just over a month away, I think this is a good time to assess the state of the Los Angeles Clippers. Is this new edition of the LA Clippers good enough to make the playoffs this season? In my opinion, they are not and here are the reasons why.

This will be the first season in a long time that the Clippers will produce a starting lineup that does not include DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, or Chris Paul.

The team traded away Blake Griffin mid-season last year to Detroit, Chris Paul the year prior to Houston, and DeAndre Jordan recently signed with the Dallas. The team has gone in a completely different direction.

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The team has essentially started over with the roster by first building through the draft (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out of Kentucky and Jerome Robinson out of Boston College). However, I would not categorize this as a “full rebuild.”

The team has a number of veteran pieces that are going to play major roles for the team this season. The Clippers traded for Martin Gortat (the Center replacement for Jordan), resigned Avery Bradley, and brought in forwards Luc Mbah a Moute and Mike Scott. Not to mention, Patrick Beverly and Danilo Gallinari both return as well.

The Clippers have a balance of young and veteran players. There is not a ‘star’ player that jumps out at you when you look at the roster. With the last of the ‘big three’ departing, the Clippers are without the go-to playmaker when the game is on the line.

One can argue that Lou Williams is the best scorer on the Clippers roster. He had a career year last year (22.6 points and 5.3 assists per game) but he is best utilized as a second or third scoring option.

Tobias Harris is the team’s best overall player, but like Williams, he is best suited as a second or third option on a winning team.

The NBA is a star-driven league and without one, the Clippers are in a tough spot especially in the daunting Western Conference.

The Western Conference is hands down the best conference in the NBA entering the 2018 season. The defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors are better than they were last year with the signing of Demarcus Cousins.

Houston, Oklahoma City, Utah, and the Lakers will all make the playoffs. Denver, Minnesota, Portland, Dallas, San Antonio, and Memphis will be in the mix for the last three spots. The Clippers are just not as talented as the aforementioned teams this season.

dark. Next. The Clippers still need to trade a guard

If the Clippers were in the Eastern Conference, it might be a different story. The Clippers will most likely be in the 30-35 win range this season. For the Los Angeles Clippers, this is a year of getting the young guys experience.