Which guards will start for the LA Clippers: Breaking it down

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30: Austin Rivers
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30: Austin Rivers /

Both of the former starting guards for the LA Clippers, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick, have moved on to new teams. With our roster almost full, let’s break down the possible combinations for our two starting guard spots.

The main candidates for the starting positions are Patrick Beverley, Austin Rivers, and Milos Teodosic, and there has been nothing from the franchise suggesting who will be the official choices.  All three have reasons, and have made cases to be starting. Here is each combination along with some benefits of each choice for the LA Clippers.

Related Story: Austin Rivers thinks he’ll be the starter

Patrick Beverley and Austin Rivers

This combination is most likely going to happen. Patrick Beverley started in every game he played for the Rockets last season, as well as for the majority of his three previous seasons with the team. That is the main reason that people believe he should start, as well as the logic for him being our starting point guard. Beverley has the experience starting, and with so many point guards in the NBA who can drop 40 on any given night, putting Beverley on them is a must. Here are Beverley’s numbers from last season: 9.5 points, 4.2 assists, 5.9 rebounds in 30.7 minutes shooting 40% from the field and 38.2% from three-point range. Patrick Beverley is far from a scoring point guard though, and this is where Austin Rivers comes in.

In a radio interview with David Baumann, Austin Rivers predicted that he would start for the 2017-2018 season. Rivers made his presence as a starter known whenever played in the starting lineup at the point, shooting guard, and small forward positions. Here are his stats as a starter last season: 16.1 points, 3.8 assists, 2.9 rebounds in 34.5 minutes shooting 45.8% from the field and 42% from three-point range. He’s a clear choice for a starting guard.

Milos Teodosic and Austin Rivers

While Patrick Beverley has started for the majority of his NBA career, Milos Teodosic will also be seeking that position on the LA Clippers. Here is our first piece of evidence suggesting that Milos will be starting, coming from Clippers/Lakers writer Bill Oram:

Emphasis on “He’s coming to be the starting PG.” Another reason for Milos’ possible starting position is all of his accomplishments overseas. He has done 2 seasons in the ULEB Cup and 10 in the Euroleague. He is a 30-year old pass-first veteran point guard, and many consider him to be one of the best in Europe. Milos would be able to average 10 assists easily working with the rest of our starters. Here are his stats from last season: 16.1 points, 6.8 assists, 2 rebounds per game in 27.6 minutes shooting 44.4% from the field and 38.1% from three. He could definitely help fill the hole CP3 left in the starting lineup. Milos is perhaps a better passer or “true point guard” than Beverley, but Beverley has him beat on NBA experience as well as defense.

All of the points from the case above for Austin Rivers starting remain relevant here.

Milos Teodosic and Patrick Beverley

These two played together on Olympiacos for the 2009-2010 season, so they do have some chemistry, however this is the least likely option for our starting backcourt. This duo would land Rivers on the bench, and he is a better scorer than both of these guards, as well as a better defender than Milos; not a good move. There is also no evidence or reasoning in these two starting together. Since they are both most effective at the point guard position, it doesn’t make much sense to have them out there at the same time for the majority of the game.


Nothing is official or ruled out yet, but one thing is for sure: It is going to be a competition between these three guys to impress Doc whenever training camp comes. They are all nice choices for perhaps the most important role on this team.