5 key things to look out for in Clippers’ 2015 season opener

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How will the Clippers’ bench perform together for the first time?

Jul 21, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers players Cole Aldrich (45), Paul Pierce (34) and Wesley Johnson (33) pose with jerseys at press conference at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The potential for the Clippers this season is quite possibly at an all-time high. As after finishing a year where they relied so heavily on star power, they finally have a host of role players that can offer some genuine support off the bench. However, the success of that second unit coming together is also the biggest concern that the Clippers face right now.

Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, Paul Pierce, Wesley Johnson, Cole Aldrich, Pablo Prigioni and Branden Dawson have all been acquired this offseason. With seven new players, it’s safe to say they’ll need some time to adapt to each other’s playing styles and their new surroundings in Los Angeles. Not to mention how they’ll play under the Clippers’ Big 3 of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre, in order to find their way as role players on a top title contender.

The first thing we can look out for is how comfortable Stephenson first appears as the primary shooting guard off the bench, so we can get an initial impression of how he can add some diversity to the Clippers’ offense. Obviously it will only be his first 48 minutes in L.A. and he won’t become a game-changer instantly. However, the season opener still serves as our first taste of watching Stephenson’s playmaking and ability to attack the basket in a Clippers uniform.

The second primary role player to keep an eye on is Smith. He’ll be taking over from Glen Davis as the new backup power forward, and his first performance will give us a preview of how he can play alongside Paul in transition, whether he can effectively connect with Griffin and Jordan for quick alley oops, and how his ability to defend multiple positions can benefit the Clippers.

Those attributes can flourish even more as team chemistry increases, though.

Add Aldrich, Johnson and some Truth to the mix, and Doc Rivers has a host of new weapons that we can witness in unison for the first time. More to the point, this game will begin to show us how training camp has started bringing the new bench together.