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

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If he stays in L.A., what will we see from Jamal Crawford?

May 4, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (11) calls a play against the Houston Rockets in the second half in game one of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Los Angeles Clippers won 117 to 101. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

As Jamal Crawford continues to appear distressed on Twitter, the trade talks as to whether he’ll join the Cleveland Cavaliers are still lingering around. Rumors have even surfaced (via Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com) that the Cavs remain interested in Crawford and that he might be keen to join them.

If J.R. Smith re-signs, the acquisition of Crawford would be pointless for the Cavaliers. They simply don’t need another streaky, heat-check shooter. If Smith doesn’t re-sign, though, there’s a far greater chance that Crawford may leave Los Angeles.

The Clippers’ newest shooting guard, Lance Stephenson, may be coming off a terrible year in Charlotte, but he still has more skill as a passer than Crawford to create scoring opportunities for teammates (Lance averaged nearly twice as many assists per 36 minutes as Crawford this year). With Stephenson’s aggressiveness and efficiency when attacking the basket (he’s made 65.6 percent of his shots within three feet in his career), playmaking, rebounding, and ability to play and defend multiple positions, he’ll be stepping into the Clippers’ bench rotation ahead of Crawford.

In the season opener against the Kings, we’ll be able to see how Doc will first begin testing his new weapons. Will he start Stephenson slowly, and split his minutes with Crawford while he gets adjusted? Or will he cut Crawford’s previous playing time of 26.6 minutes to 10 or 15 straight away?

On the topic of minutes, what can we expect to see from Paul Pierce during the start of the season?