Naturally, the Clippers are now considered title favorites by many, as Leonard and George are joining a roster that already includes Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, among others.
Los Angeles is ridiculously talented, deep, experienced and is going to have one of the best defensive teams we have seen in recent memory.
That’s why the Clippers should go over the 54.5 over/under that Westgate has listed for them heading into the 2019-20 NBA campaign.
Westgate actually has both the Milwaukee Bucks (58) and Philadelphia 76ers (55) ahead of the Clippers, and while it looks laughable, the logic behind it is probably because Los Angeles plays in the West and will probably rest guys periodically throughout the year.
We already know that Paul George will be out until November at the earliest while he recovers from shoulder surgery, and Kawhi Leonard missdd 22 games last season due to load management.
So, I get the trepidation about the Clippers’ win totals, but come on now; this team is loaded.
Let’s remember that LA won 48 games last year. That was before it added Leonard and George, and it’s not like the Clips had to blow up their roster to make the Leonard and George duo happen.
Even if George misses the first month and change of the season, the Clippers have arguably the best player in the NBA in Leonard, plus a group of vicious defenders and experienced veterans who can carry the load.
And on the days that Leonard rests? You have to figure that most of those games will come once George is back on the floor, and while George is not Leonard, he is more than capable of leading Los Angeles to some victories with that supporting cast and an accomplished head coach in Doc Rivers.
This Clippers team could win in the neighborhood of 65 games this year if they avoid injuries, but because George will likely be out for a bit and Leonard will almost certainly miss some games, that number is probably closer to 60.
I’m sorry, but the Bucks and 76ers are not even in the same league as the Clippers in terms of talent and fit, so seeing Los Angeles behind Milwaukee and Philadelphia in Westgate’s over/under is definitely weird (but again, I understand the variables).
Either way, I would be surprised if the Clippers don’t win at least 55 games. Again, this squad is loaded, both offensively and defensively.
The Clips have maybe the best player in the NBA in Leonard. They have another All-Star in George. They have ferocious defenders who can switch anything. They have experience. They have shooters (hello, Landry Shamet). They have depth. They have the coaching. They have a litany of guys they can throw on LeBron James and the other top players in the game.
There is really nothing to dislike about this team, and I find it very hard to believe that it is going to finish with any less than 55 wins, even if Leonard and George miss some time.