Doc Rivers should be given the presidency of the United States of America after the coaching job he did last season. When every single one of your starters goes down with injuries that keep them out of multiple games, most teams/coaches hit the panic and assemble a tank. The Los Angeles Clippers refused to do so.
With some injuries being worse than others: Danilo Gallinari and Patrick Beverley combining for 32 games. Milos Teodosic only being able to play 45 games. Blake Griffin, while in a Clippers uniform, only mustering up 33 games. Cedars-Sinai should have their own Clippers wing in their hospital for the injuries sustained last season.
Still, Doc and his rag-tag group of guys put together a winning season and surprised pretty much everyone in the league. Having a 31-year-old career bench player as your leading scorer, utilizing the most starting lineups in the league, having 2 two-way players contribute big minutes and trading the franchise player at the deadline for two starters and a lottery pick. I don’t even think M. Night Shyamalan could write these many twists into a season.
Going into the 2018-19 season, we still have a little bit of instability, but also a lot to be excited about.
The first order of business is cutting the roster down to 15 players. With the news this week that the Clippers matched Ty Wallace’s offer sheet from the New Orleans Pelicans, L.A. is now at 17 players. Cuts or trades must happen before opening tip October 17th.
The excitement comes from a few different areas. For one, everyone seems to be healthy. A fully healthy starting five of Beverley, Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Gallinari, and Marcin Gortat can be dangerous on both offense and defense and should turn heads.
Lastly, this is the first real Jerry West season. Yes, he made a ton of moves last season and effectively took over the front office, but this is the first true year in which we will see if these moves pan out. Having Bradley and Harris in their first full season in L.A., trading up to draft SGA and see if his development is speedy and seeing if more moves will be made at the deadline again this year. This is a full “trust the logo” kind of season.
Let’s take a look at three goals the Clippers should try to hit in the 2018-19 season:
Next Up: Goal 3