Almost everything written about the Los Angeles Clippers over the last month has been positive, which might be an unfair evaluation of the team.
Before I get cited for being a Laker fan and hating the Los Angeles Clippers I want to establish that I am not a “fan” of either team and am more of a fan of basketball as a whole. I like Kawhi Leonard, I like LeBron James, I like Zion Williamson. I try and bring an unbiased outlook of both LA teams, whether that is praising them or being critical of them.
And if you are a frequent reader here at LA Sports Hub then you would know that almost every single article that I have written about the Clippers over the last month has been positive.
I mean, it is hard to not be positive about a team that now boasts Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and perhaps the scariest defensive group that we have seen in quite some time. Patrick Beverley, George, Kawhi and Montrezl Harrell all on the court at the same time? Good luck.
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As of right now, the Los Angeles Clippers have the best roster to win an NBA Title and should be the favorites heading into 2019. There is no refuting that.
However, if I actually was a betting man (which I legally cannot be yet at 20 years old), I would avoid betting on the Clippers? Why? Not just because of the not-so-great payout odds if they win, but because like their potential ceiling, their potential floor is extreme.
Let me explain.
Just like any team in the NBA, the Clippers are vulnerable to injuries. And if one of their star players goes down then they would be at a significant disadvantage against some of the other great duos in the NBA.
So what? Every title-contending team can be derailed by injuries. What makes the Los Angeles Clippers a unique situation is the players that they are relying on to be their star players. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George don’t necessarily have the best health track record.
Leonard had his entire fiasco with the San Antonio Spurs, which is worrisome. And while that might be over, the Raptors still had to limit him to just 60 games last season and even by the end of the playoffs, he was visibly not 100 percent.
Basketball is a grueling game and Leonard has only played more than 70 regular season games twice in his NBA career. This doesn’t mean that he can’t piece together a full year and there is nothing wrong with resting, but it should be mentioned that he has the potential to flame out by the end of the year.
And with that comes an increased injury risk. As for Paul George, he is coming off of two shoulder surgeries. While he is projected to be okay by the start of the year, you cannot just ignore the fact that both of his shoulders had problems at the end of his best season yet.
George has been relatively healthy the last four years and has played most of his games but that shoulder surgery is a concerning thing. Maybe there is a reason why the Oklahoma City Thunder were okay with dealing George so quickly after his four-year extension.
I think it is more likely than not that the Clippers keep these two guys healthy by resting them at the end of the year and making sure they do not take on too big of a workload before the playoffs.
However, it is an injustice to just ignore that the Los Angeles Clippers might just have more of a chance of having their star players go down.
And the worst part is that both guys can leave after two years. All it takes is two freak injuries across those two years, or any potential friction, for the two to move on after the two seasons together.
Nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, so don’t get overly optimistic that the Los Angeles Clippers will be a multi-year dynasty moving forward. They have to stay healthy first to avoid a meltdown that results in zero rings.