The Los Angeles Clippers flexed their muscles once again on Thursday night, as they made easy work of the Orlando Magic, coming away with a lopsided 122-95 victory in Staple Center. The fact that Paul George had to sit this one out due to a hamstring issue made the win even more impressive. Nonetheless, despite L.A. living up to the hype of being legitimate title contenders this season, some doubt has begun to surface in this regard. For some anonymous NBA executives, players like Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverley might prove to be the chink in their armor.
“Harrell is a disaster if they have to play the Nuggets in the playoffs. Their best bet is Ivica Zubac, but he can't get out to Nikola Jokic on the perimeter,” said another former executive, via Eric Pincus of B/R. “Is Montrezl big enough to play against the Lakers and the Jazz?”
While Harrell is without a doubt one of the team's most important players right now, the above statement does make a lot of sense. The 25-year-old's unmatched energy and hustle is undeniable, but as stated above, his size (he stands at just 6-foot-7) might prove to be a big problem come playoffs time.
Much like Harrell, Beverley and his standout defense has been part and parcel of L.A.'s success so far this season. Nevertheless, there are still some who believe that he does not bring enough to the table.
“They need another playmaker. Patrick Beverley isn't a point guard. They're too reliant on Lou, Kawhi and George to create for others. They go on long scoring droughts. They need more size, and they're not getting a lot out of their bench outside of Lou and Trez,” said a Western Conference executive. “They may be able to beat the Lakers in a series, but will they get that far?”
This is again a very valid point, and one that the Clippers are likely looking into as we approach the February trade deadline. At this point, it would not be surprising if the team brings in some reinforcements to further bolster their title hunt.