Why the Los Angeles Clippers are going to win the NBA Championship

The LA Clippers are entering the playoffs as the #2 seed in the West. They made a magnificent splash with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and then when you look at their overall talent, they have a really solid contender on their court. This is a team that is hungry. Since 1980, they have had 23 seasons with a 40% or less winning percentage, they have been the joke to their big brother in LA. But, now, they believe they can win a championship with Leonard and George leading the team. Their offense has been daunting, at 4th in the league, and their defense is better than most teams. Let’s look at why they will win it this season.

All teams shoot to get their dangerous combination on the court – but there always seems to be a combination that just works.
Enter Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

When in form and in full health, Paul George is a top 10 player and a sure winner.
I firmly believe that.
George has been banged up in his past – but he has emerged as a better player than he ever was. He lost everything but 6 games during his 2014 season, then bounced back in 2015 with 23ppg, then in 2018 he averaged 28 ppg and led the NBA at 2.2 steals /game. He has shown astonishing resilience and determination. Then in this last off-season George was grabbed by the Clips, as art of their hard push. George is an excellent creator with the ball in his hands, and is unafraid to put the ball on the floor and take it to the rack. He can create buckets whether attacking the rim, or kicking out to one of their veteran guards, to drop a trey.

George has great confidence in his game, has shown awesome touch from behind the arc, is a deft passer and can clean the glass, on both the defensive and on the offensive side. He is also making threes at just about a 41% clip which is more than enough to keep a defense honest.

No one sees Kawhi Leonard coming. He just quietly shows up and then so many games later, he is either winning MVP’s, or winning championships. Leonard is one of the top 3 players in the NBA right now, hands down. He had a sensational finals against the Warriors last season, when they were supposed to be wrecked, by loading up 28.5ppg and 9.8rpg. He has shown he can walk onto a good team and instantly make it a championship team.

The 6-7 SF has grown, before our eyes, especially over the last 2 seasons, after his San Antonio debacle- into a good shooter, a fierce defender and a smart player who can lead a team. No one seems to pay attention, until you look at the scoreboard and see you’re losing and he has quietly put up 25 and 10. He doesn’t force the game, and is sneaky good. The 28 year old superstar has the absolute heart to lead this team to a title. The Klaw and PG13 feed off of each other and are as dangerous a duo as anyone in the game.

Having major superstars Leonard and George along with a stellar bench is enormous. The Clippers have a great group of bench players that can all hang some quick buckets, and provide excellent relief for the starters. Montrezl Harrell is averaging 18.6ppg off the bench, while Lou Williams is averaging 18.5ppg and 5.7apg off the bench. These guys alone, would likely start on almost every other team in the league.

Williams is a sharpshooting backup SG who has been hitting 36% from deep during the regular season, in 29 minutes per game during his 2019 season. Harrell is one of the best reserve bigs in the league, he is more than a handful and super efficient – as long as he is healthy. They have a huge offensive advantage when they get the production they get from off the bench, they can legitimately go 10 men deep every single night without losing much productivity. Going deep into their rotation and keeping a serviceable player on the court at all times, is huge. And they have that option.

So many have swooned and cheered over the “other LA team” but I don’t think anyone should forget the Clippers, the “cousin Oliver” to the Lakers team. The Lakers made some huge headlines over last off-season with the moves they made – but I still think I trust the Clippers offense more than the Lakers right now.

A winning mindset is needed to have to compete for a title, and the Clippers have that, along with other right pieces in place. The Clippers have a sweet roster, they have a top coach, and they have an impressive bench that can swing things. They have a good case as to why they will win it all this season. I feel that if they can stay healthy – then they have the ability to win it all.

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard brought the Clippers to another level

The question after every off-season transactions always is the same. Are the teams better than it was last season? Obviously no team wants to sit stagnant, especially if one of the bottom tiered teams that is looking to generate a league buzz and get better, and compete.
Adding Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to LA brought some serious talent to a rusty team dynamic – that just wasn’t getting it done. Adding MVP-like player like Leonard is immediately going to help make any team better. And then LA also picked up a 9 year vet Paul George – who buried 39% from deep last year, as George hit big shots all season for OKC last season. The Clippers have thrived with him on the court since his arrival in LA. Kawhi Leonard’s stat lines don’t tell the full story with his play, he brings a quiet leadership and a cool calmness over anything. Kawhi is definitely an offensive upgrade to the SF position over Danilo Gallinari – and, with his ability to handle the ball and create his own shots, he brings more fluidity to the game for them. And Leonard – known around the league as “The Claw” – impacts the game at the defensive end as well, bringing a great instinct and quick hands, verified by his career 1.8spg and career 100 def rating.
Leonard knocked down 49% of his shots last year in Toronto, and led them to the championship – who could possibly complain about that? He has been their key roll man on the pick and roll during this season, and he has done excellently there as well. He gets himself involved all over the court, and when he is spotting up, he’s been hitting 46% of shots from the field this season. Kawhi also brings some post up opportunities – and defensively, we know he’s been more than pretty good as well.
Paul George is a superstar player who is often overlooked – and he is currently dominating from behind the arc for them – a spot that has produced 3+ three pointers /game, along with hitting 39% from deep. And despite all of his really sweet numbers – the biggest impact he brought to LA has been a massive impact on floor spacing – when George is on the floor, the Clippers 4th ranked offense runs like butter. To the point – where quite a bit of the teams offense runs through him, and that’s how it should be with PG13 landing on this team.
When Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the teams SG he made the Clippers young and they weren’t gelling as they should have been – that’s why LA decided to go in another direction. Not that he is a bad player by any means – and he is going to have a very good career – but he didn’t create the mismatches, and he also seemed to struggle against bigger defensive guards. Paul George is a very capable scorer against better players and is a defensive upgrade, as a plus.
LA has some talented young guys, like 22 yr old Landry Shamet – who will learn so much playing with great players like George and Leonard – these 2 superstars will handle the load and live up to their names and expectations. This has been a huge win for the Clippers. This team will only get better during the season, and as I expect them to, the Clippers are going to be a 55 or more win team. LA had a couple of things that needed to be worked on, and with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George – those things look like they have been fixed.

Tony’s Top 10 NBA Power Ratings Week 5

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The NBA Season is in full swing and the teams in the
West are far outplaying the Teams in the East. Here are my weekly Top 10 with
their actual power rating next to them. My power ratings have been sharp so far,
only 2 losses in the NBA season to date and I am still on a low volume, flat
betting approach early in the season. Chicago has a huge scare with Rose going
down on Friday the 22nd with a possible right knee injury (the left one was
repaired last year). The Spurs continue to impress but one has to wonder with
the age of this team how long can it last?

Many teams, especially in the West
getting great guard play and scoring over 100 ppg, but good old fashion defense
is rarely found, and at days end defense wins you games which is one of the main
reasons for the Pacers being ranked #1 this week, they have the best defense in
the NBA YTD. The NBA Atlantic division does not have a team with a winning
record, Toronto and Philly tied for first with 6-7 records. And the Nets are old
and tired and Garnett looks horrific and uninterested. It is a young mans NBA
anymore and a scoring driven league, so your guard play needs to be good, which
you see plenty of . TIP: Away teams are only winning straight up 36% of the
time, so low numbers on home favs are still worthy of a look.

1. Indiana Pacers
(92) – Pacers are hot and the schedule is still soft which makes them my top
choice this week. #1 in defense which allows their 20th ranked offense to get
them wins. Also the best cover team in the NBA at 9-3 ATS!

2. Miami Heat (91) –
LeBron and Company at 9-3. 4th in offense and 8th in defense, #1 in FG% – Can
beat anyone

3. San Antonio (90.5 )- Spurs built for 1 last run as long as Parker
stays healthy- 2nd in the NBA in defense and experience is deep

4. Portland (89)
– 11-2 and handed the Spurs a defeat – Surprise team at first, now proving their
worth – defend the 3 well and scoring 103 a game

5. OK City (89) – Durant and
Westbrook – Enough said – Ibaka in the paint is solid – weak defense so far
which has cost them, they will run with anyone

6. LA Clippers (88) – All star
cast, still working n chemistry – Need to shore up defense, allowing 105 while
scoring 107, not a good road bet yet either

7. Houston ( 87.5) – Best offense in
the NBA, one of the worst defenses. Howard paying small dividends – Linsanity is
back

8. Golden St ( 87) – Back to back losses headed into weekend, but the
defense is solid and scoring over 101 ppg

9. Dallas (86.5) – Undefeated at home,
Ellis playing big time ball at 23 ppg, defense allowing 103 a game, perimeter is
rarely defended

10. Minnesota (86) – Solid team, but they have OK City, Houston,
Indy and Dallas on deck, time will tell. TOP 3 Best Cover Teams as of 11/23
Indiana, Phoenix, Atlanta and Portland tied

Written by TonyG of VegasTopDogs.com