Los Angeles Clippers: Fan perspective on the big talking points | NBA News

Clippers superfan James Warner reviews the 2021-22 season for his team, then takes a look at the 2022-23 season for Los Angeles.

Where my love for the NBA and the Clippers came from…

My name is James Warner, I’m from Hertfordshire and I run @ClippersUK on Twitter where I talk about all things Clippers. I’ve built a strong community of Clipper fans in the UK and will be launching a podcast this year to cover the upcoming season.

I was introduced to the NBA in 2012 when my cousin showed me the highlights of Blake Griffin. I immediately fell in love with Lob City. The fact that the franchise was (and still is) searching for its first title made the decision even easier. My first real experience as a Clippers fan was in the 2015 playoffs, when I knocked out the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs and then threw away a 3-1 lead against the Houston Rockets. It’s been a roller coaster since then, from selling Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to a strong rebuilding team featuring Lou Williams, Pat Bev and Montrezl Harrell. We are now in the best position to win our first title with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. It was still hard to shake the Clippers curse of collapsing against the Nuggets during bubble season, when I was unlucky enough to be a virtual fan for one of the worst games in Clippers history. Having said that, there is no other team that I want to follow and I really hope that the stars stand for the team this year.

My favourite player

It’s almost impossible for any Clipper fan not to say Kawhi Leonard. He’s a top-five player in the NBA over the past decade, as well as an offensive and defensive juggernaut who can guard anyone on the floor. He is one of the most influential 2-way players of all time, a true enigma and a legend of the game.

Grade for the past season: B+

The 2021-22 season has been a roller coaster ride for the LA Clippers. Head coach Ty Lue kept the team competitive despite Kawhi Leonard missing the season and Paul George playing 31 games. Not making the playoffs was disappointing, but to finish above .500 considering our circumstances was a great achievement. Ultimately, ill health cost the team but role players like Nicolas Batum did a great job as the group now prepares to reintegrate Kawhi.

The atmosphere in the team was absolutely great throughout the year. The games were really entertaining, we managed to surprise some teams and orchestrate several comeback victories. Last season set us up well for a championship run this year as everyone embraced Ty Lue’s vision and the way he wants to play.

Evaluation of the off-season for the Clippers

John Wall joined the Los Angeles Clippers this summer after a few seasons in the wild with the Houston Rockets

The main topic of conversation for the Clippers in recent seasons has been the point guard position. We’ve added John Wall, which may give a lot of cause for optimism. He hasn’t played in a while, but he’ll go from Houston’s number one option to our number three or four. Nicolas Batum also joined through a buyout and has benefited from reducing his responsibilities and focusing on his strengths without the pressure of being seen as the number one or two player on the team. Wall’s catch-and-shoot ability and his playmaker make him an instant asset for the Clippers. If he accepts the culture and the opportunity to work with Kawhi, PG and Ty Lue, there’s no reason Wall can’t be successful with the team.

The Clippers have also signed Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac, Amir Coffey and Robert Covington. The team was keen to ‘come back’ with the regulars who helped get them to the Play-In tournament last year. Aside from getting a point guard at John Wall, keeping the group together was imperative. However, the Clippers lost a jewel in Isaiah Hartenstein, who added another dimension to our bank last year and had deserved starting minutes. Isaiah signed with the Knicks and left with the need to fill the backup center role.

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Robert Covington explodes for a career-high 43 points in the Los Angeles Clippers’ stunning win over the Milwaukee Bucks last season

Norman Powell and Robert Covington were acquired at the February close, adding to an already extensive list. Powell managed to play just five games with the team after suffering an ankle injury. He averaged 21.4 points in those games. He played and won a title with Kawhi in Toronto and has a close relationship with Paul George. Covington was a revelation on both sides for the team last season, averaging 10.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.3 steals while shooting 45 percent from three. Both have bought into the culture and will be in big roles in the upcoming season.

Overall, the Clippers accomplished exactly what they wanted for this offseason, holding the core group together to “run back” with a healthy Kawhi and Paul George returning to the group. There are concerns about the backup center spot where Hartenstein provided great cover, although Ty Lue also seems to favor the ‘little ball’ as Morris, Batum or Covington can play 5th place. The team added young center Moses Brown to the training camp roster in hopes he could be a similar quality find to Hartenstein’s last year.

Key points from the 2022 NBA draft

The Clippers went into the draft with the 43rd pick. Since there wasn’t much need for a “win-now” player, the team chose French big man – Moussa Diabate. The Clippers add another development player who is very raw but has high potential. Moussa will find opportunities are scarce but he is hoping to follow the path of recent developmental successes such as Terence Mann and Amir Coffey.

The Clippers’ goals for next season

As the new season begins, nothing changes for the Clippers as they seek their first NBA title. There’s more reason to be optimistic with the most comprehensive roster we’ve ever had alongside the superstar duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Many analysts already advise us to be the best team in the West, but that depends on Kawhi’s condition as he looks to return after suffering a serious ACL injury.

The 2022-23 season presents the Clippers with another chance to start another title shot with hopes that we can at least make our first NBA Finals appearance. Championships aren’t won on paper, but there’s a real sense that everything could line up at the perfect time for the Clippers to go all the way.

Three predictions for the coming season…

  • The Clippers compete in the NBA Finals
  • We will also be the best defensive team in the NBA
  • John Wall is named sixth Man of the Year

Why should people see the Clippers?

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Watch Paul George pull off a masterful performance to lead the Los Angeles Clippers past the Sacramento Kings with 23 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists

The Clippers have one of the best superstar duos in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the largest supporting cast in the NBA and a championship coach in Ty Lue. They are one of the best three-point shooting teams along with one of the best defensive teams. They’re almost guaranteed to be a top-flight playoff team in May and will irk some with their never say die mentality. If ever there was a season after the Clippers, this is it.

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