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Will the Clippers Extend Their Playoff Streak to 7?

Clippers Keith Allison


Will the Clippers Playoff Streak End in 2017-2018

As described in my latest article, the Los Angeles Clippers, roster went through a huge overhaul this offseason. Chris Paul got traded to the Houston Rockets. J.J. Reddick signed with the Philadelphia 76ers during free agency, and Jamal Crawford is now a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Although the Clippers lost a lot of players, they gained even more. The franchise acquired Lou Williams and Patrick Beverly from the Paul trade. Lob City, resigned Blake Griffin and acquired Danilo Gallinari from the Denver Nuggets in a sign-and-trade. But do the new-look Clippers have enough to extend their ongoing playoff streak to seven in the loaded West? Let’s dive in.

Crowded West and Chemistry Issues Will Leave Clippers Scrambling

If you thought the West was loaded before, think again. In my opinion, there are 11 teams vowing for eight playoff spots in the West. The eight teams that made the playoffs last year, plus the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, and the New Orleans Pelicans. Unfortunately for Clipper fans, I think that L.A. will be one of the teams booted from the picture. One reason is due to a lack of chemistry.

Losing your starting backcourt of the past five years will be the main cause of that. Without the premier vision and passing ability of Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Griffin won’t be able to get nearly as many easy buckets as they have in the past. This will force the Clippers to adjust their offense to reconcile for the loss of Paul’s passing. J.J. Reddick also aided in getting these big men easy buckets. With his ability to knock down the three-ball at a high rate, of .43 percent. Reddick was able to spread the floor, giving Griffin and Jordan room to operate down low. Without him, the paint will be crowded. In order to create space, L.A needs to add another shooter with Reddick’s quality.

The team also lost three of the top five free throw shooters based on percentage from last season in Crawford, Reddick, and CP3. Those three saved the teams free throw percentage the last few years. Because we all know that Jordans poor free throw shooting can take a toll on the team.

Injury Concerns

Another factor that will weigh in on whether or not the Clippers make the playoffs will be health. As we know, Blake Griffin has a hard time staying on the court. Griffin has missed a combined 83 games due to injuries over the past three seasons ALONE. Now that he’s nearing 30, I don’t see him putting together a completely healthy season. He’s going to be the teams’ new leader this year, and this can be a problem if he suffers a major injury and misses an extended amount of time. And I don’t bet on him staying injury-free throughout the grueling NBA season.

Newly acquired forward Gallinari also gets hurt a lot. Gallinari’s missed over 70 games due to various injuries over the past few years and has only played more than 65 games twice in his 9-year career. And since the former Denver Nugget is going to be Los Angeles’ number 2 option, him missing any period of time will hurt the teams scoring ability.

Let’s Wrap It Up

In a perfect scenario, the Clippers will avoid major injuries, and their improved defense will make up for their loss of offense. But we all know that in the NBA, there is no perfect world. Especially for a franchise like the Clippers. At best I see Griffin and company finishing at the 7th seed. But in my opinion, L.A.’s playoff streak will end at 6 straight years. Missing the playoffs could place Doc Rivers on the hot seat in Los Angeles. (If I’m right that is).

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