Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers are still the heavy favorites to win the NBA championship this year despite the three-month lockdown.
The NBA is set to tip-off again on July 30, but its possibility is still hanging in the balance. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that there is still a chance that the season will be suspended again if the situation worsens. COVID-19 cases in Florida aren’t going down. Instead, the numbers just continue to climb up day after day.
Nevertheless, the 22 teams set to join the restart are doing the necessary preparations to go deep into the Playoffs. Similar to earlier predictions, the Los Angeles Clippers are still the favorites to win it all this season.
Kawhi Leonard and his prowess
The two-time NBA champion Kawhi Leonard joined the Clippers during the offseason 2019. He hasn’t played much before the games were suspended. However, the sight of him healthy and running with a full roster is a nightmare for their opponents.
His playing time has been limited because the team needs him to be healthy for a deep Playoffs run. They will lean heavily on him and his partner-in-crime Paul George to take them all the way to the Clippers’ first-ever NBA championship.
Leonard is averaging a team-high 26.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5 assists in 51 games played. The Clippers’ current standing prior to the NBA restart is 44 wins and 29 losses.
Deep Clippers roster
Outside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the structure of the LA Clippers’ roster is praiseworthy. Last year, even though they did not have these two superstars, they were able to go toe-to-toe with the Golden State Warriors. This year, they were able to keep the roster intact.
The paint is still defended by Montrezl Harrell who compensates for his lack of size with a hustle playing style. On the backcourt, the Clips are anchored by the hard defender in Patrick Beverly and the walking-bucket Lou Williams.
Also, the midseason acquisitions of Marcus Morris just makes the Clippers a bigger threat overall. In reality, there will be no scoring problems when either George or Leonard sits.
The biggest threat to the Clippers
The Western Conference is actually a warzone. All eight teams that will make it to the Playoffs all have championship potentials. However, the biggest blockade for the Clippers will be the Lakers. Lebron James and his team will be hungry to take home one more championship for the team’s legacy.
However, despite being a stacked team, the Lakers may still be outgunned by the Clippers. It will be interesting to see how these two teams will perform early in the NBA restart.
Image from Los Angeles Clippers/ YouTube Screenshot