Two Reasons Why Analyst Is ‘Sneakily Confident’ About Clippers
The Clippers are on a roll after a stumbling 1-4 start to the season, which featured some truly incredible performances and had many LA fans fearing a major step back from last season’s long postseason run.
Some of the more concerning aspects of LA’s slow start have seemingly dissipated, as they won six straight before losing one to Chicago Sunday night.
Reggie Jackson, the team’s bespectacled playoff hero, is finding the basket again (despite a 4-for-17 night against the Bulls, his shooting percentage has risen 14 points since the start of November), veteran point guard Eric Bledsoe is playing more decisively, and the second unit, led by Terance Mann, Luke Kennard, and a surprisingly effective Isaiah Hartenstein, is displaying tremendous chemistry and is no longer being asked to make up for the first unit’s shortcomings
While all of this is going on, Paul George continues to stake a claim to the league’s MVP award.
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Despite the encouraging signs, the Clippers are unlikely to contend in the postseason without first-team All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard, who is recovering from ACL surgery and is not expected to return this season.
And even if he does, there’s no guarantee he’ll be back in shape in time to help.
According to Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer, Leonard, in any form, will tip the scales significantly, and that even if he’s “not himself,” the Clippers will still have two key advantages, one of which is less obvious.
Trust your instincts.
Following a lengthy discussion of Paul George’s career and underappreciated skillset (Simmons ranked George the 6th best player in the league at the moment and the 6th best small forward since 2000), Tjarks explained why, aside from Leonard, he is “kind of sneakily confident” in the Clippers’ chances.
The first reason is head coach Ty Lue’s ability to make in-game adjustments.
“If the West is fairly evenly split and these playoff series are razor-thin, I’ll take Ty Lue over anyone in the league when it comes to chess,” Tjarks said.
“That guy, in the playoffs, he might make a mistake…
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