The Los Angeles Clippers have made some changes to their list, which will be included in the 2020-21 season. After the first test of the Kavi Leonard Paul George experiment it went wrong, the front office knew that changes were inevitable and had to complete the tandem of superstars of the team hoping to win the first championship.
Basketball company president Lawrence Frank announced his commitment to the duo and last week agreed to a maximum extension of the contract with George, extending the contract with the superstar for another four years, for a total value of $226 million. This decision prepares Leonard to probably do the same next season, but many of his decisions will depend on how far Los Angeles can go this season.
Many league experts believe the Los Angeles Lakers are likely to repeat as champions, putting the Clippers in a different position than last season. In the 2020-21 season they will have to prove themselves with a slap on the wrist.
Here are some predictions about what could happen to the Clippers in the coming season.
4. Serge Ibaka is better suited than Harrell.
Losing Montresla Harrell to Laker rivals is certainly not as big a problem as most people think. Harrell was a key player in the Clippers’ success last season, winning the sixth Man of the Year award, although his consistency on defense is at stake. This became especially clear in the play-offs when the Clippers met the Denver nuggets. The clippers needed the best anchor in the front yard and Ibaka could give them one.
The 2.5 meter center comes from a solid season with the Toronto Raptors and brings, at least in terms of size and experience, more than Harrell for Clippers. Moreover, the Ibaka has a much better shooting performance than the Harrell, which has a very limited range.
When all this is said and done, Ibaka could be one of the missing pieces the Clippers need to get over the hump.
3. Cavi Leonard-Paul George continues to mourn
The Clippers may have removed some of their training questions by splitting up with Doc Rivers, but there is still a lot to do in the Clippers’ locker room. It wasn’t until the middle of last season that we heard about record combinations around the star duo Clippers.
Rivers has been the scapegoat for many of the setbacks that have followed Los Angeles throughout the season, which means the two team leaders now have to prove why they were not poisoned and negligent teammates for which they have been expelled by numerous authorities.
However, the problem is that it wasn’t just the media that speculated about the dysfunctions within the Clippers organization. Markus Morris, who joined the team in the middle of the season, would have felt uncomfortable right away. Leonard, who is known as a calm leader, will have to continue to change and work for a team that seemed to solve many problems.
The only thing that can help to silence the sceptics in this respect is victory, and that starts with making the people around them happy.
2. Paul George shines in the playoffs
George has become the joker of the 2020 play-offs with his failed performances. He starts a verbal war with Damien Lillard, who has no place in the fan base because of his own struggle. After the battle against the Dallas Mavericks, it was hard to say if there was anything that helped the Clippers achieve their ultimate goal, which was to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
All this suggests that George seems ready to redeem his inconsistency in the bubble playoffs. He’s back from the Clippers in the annexe and is working with his old coach again. George knows that next season is a great opportunity for him to silence his critics.
With his authority on the game, the six-time All-Star will be fully motivated to bring this fantastic season to a successful conclusion from start to finish.
1. The Clippers, who beat the Lakers in the Western finals
Make no mistake, the Clippers will be better this year. The regular season recordings mean almost nothing when the low season starts, which the Clippers will listen to seriously this time.
With a few Leonard and George still in the ranks of the Clippers, this team should be able to present itself as a legitimate challenger to the Championship, even if it has lost a few remarkable players in the off-season. The Lakers have managed to update their list and are now considered the favourites to win the title. It is therefore to be expected that purple and gold will regain their place in the finals of the Western Conference.
As planned, the Clippers will meet the Lakers in the Western Conference finals, but again it will be the Lakers who will leave the winner.
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