There are two main types of pressure that exist: the pressure to sustain and the pressure to prove. The Clippers have always been trying to prove their worth in Los Angeles, but their championship-expectation scale of pressure has become legitimate. Through the first 11 games of last postseason, the Clippers flat out looked like the best team in the NBA. They seemed to have proven something to themselves and the basketball world by dethroning the defending champion Spurs in the first round, but suffered a tragic collapse and gave up a 3-1 series lead to the Rockets in the conference semifinals.
Losing DeAndre Jordan in free agency this summer would have been a major setback. That didn’t happen. With their core intact and new pieces added, the Clippers are under the critical microscope more than ever before, and Doc Rivers has already put a significant onus on the need to accomplish their goal this season.
What can the fans look forward to?
Having more talented depth. This is the most versatile overall roster Doc Rivers has had since getting to LA. Their most glaring structural flaw of late has been a lack of productive bodies off the bench. Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce, and Josh Smith bring capabilities to the Clipper bench that hasn’t been at their disposal before.
Projected starting lineup:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: J.J. Redick
- SF: Wesley Johnson
- PF: Blake Griffin
- C: DeAndre Jordan
Who can emerge as a star?
The Clippers thrive out of their core star power, and I’m not so sure anyone else could emerge as so, but either Lance Stephenson or Josh Smith have the potential to at least become a much needed unsung hero.
What will be their final record?