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

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How many minutes will Paul Pierce begin with?

Mar 16, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce (34) celebrates in the final seconds of the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 105-97. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Pierce was signed by the Clippers for a few key reasons: he’s an efficient shooter who can make clutch plays, he’s a highly experienced veteran leader and he has a great relationship with Doc Rivers. All those qualities are most valuable during the playoffs, which is why the Clippers’ control of his minutes during the regular season is something to pay attention to. Especially as Pierce will be 38 years old by the time the season begins.

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In his single year with the Washington Wizards, Pierce played 26.2 minutes per game and averaged 11.9 points. His most notable stat? Still making 38.9 percent of his threes, despite being ‘old’. Of course efficiency doesn’t necessarily go with age, but the fact he could still bury game winning shots in the playoffs speaks volumes about how much The Truth still has to offer.

Pierce’s leadership can help bring together the Clippers’ new bench and he can serve as a great mentor to younger players like Stephenson and Austin Rivers. His talents on the floor are clearly important as well, although they’ll be even more important if he’s rested enough to utilize them in the playoffs.

As the season opener draws closer, this is just another initial part of Doc Rivers’ strategy we can watch begin. We’ll have to wait and see how successful the Clippers’ new players are together during the early months of the season, but it’s safe to say we have plenty to look out for from the get-go against the Kings.

October 28 can’t get here soon enough.

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