3 predictions for the LA Clippers’ preseason opener

PLAYA VISTA, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: DeAndre Jordan /
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LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 7: Brice Johnson
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 7: Brice Johnson /

Brice Johnson Shines

The Clippers’ 2016 first round draft pick missed the majority of last season with a herniated disk in his back and struggled to crack Doc Rivers’ rotation when he was healthy near the end of the season. Johnson looked much improved and confident during the Clippers’ run in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 14.4 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 57.7 percent from the floor. The power forward will have to compete with Reed and Harrell for backup big man minutes, but Johnson has something that neither Reed nor Harrell has.

Johnson’s ability to stretch the floor may earn him a chance to crack the rotation and play some backup power forward minutes behind Griffin. In addition, the UNC-product showed off a wide array of post moves during the summer league that may give him an advantage over Harrell and Reed, who both rely on dunks and layups for the majority of their points.

Since it’s a preseason game and Griffin is coming off of injury, I would expect Johnson to get a considerable amount of playing time and hopefully prove to Rivers that he deserves some quality NBA minutes.