Although the Los Angeles Clippers are still considered one of the biggest favorites to win the NBA title this season, things haven’t gone so well for the Clips as everybody expected before the start of the campaign.
They did land Marcus Morris at the deadline, but now are facing a loss that could affect them more than everybody believes. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman sat down to discuss the Clippers’ actuality, revealing they are concerned about the team following Paul George injuring his hamstring against the Boston Celtics in a 2OT loss.
“When they traded for Paul George, they weren’t just trading for Paul George,” Kellerman said. “They were trading not just for Paul George, but also essentially for Kawhi Leonard ‘cause Kawhi Leonard was only gonna sign there if they got Paul George. They not only traded five first-round picks, four unprotected, but also Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari. Right now Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are borderline All-Star players. Now it’s not just that you’re missing Paul George, but if this is a recurrent problem with Paul George, they suck, they have to hope that they get this guy not only healthy for the playoffs, but with enough run with him. This is the third time on the same leg.”
Stephen A. also added that he was concerned about the Clips, but not precisely because of Paul George. In fact, he stated the team needs to bring his best game against every other rival in the league, not only against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“The Clippers are loaded, but here is the thing. If you keep your mind ‘the Lakers, the Lakers, the Lakers’, and you get up for them, but you don’t play at that level against anybody else, here is the problem: Denver, Utah, Houston, they’re coming. If you don’t bring that game against them, you might not get to the Lakers, and that’s why we gotta be mindful of the Clippers.”
Things need to change at the Staples Center, as the Clippers don’t find the regularity they need to finally dethrone the Lakers atop of the West standings. Paul George’s injury certainly affects their plans, but this is a team that needs to turn things around if they want to transcend this season.