LA Clippers 2017-2018 season preview

PLAYA VISTA, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: DeAndre Jordan /
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PLAYA VISTA, CA – SEPTEMBER 25: Milos Teodosic
PLAYA VISTA, CA – SEPTEMBER 25: Milos Teodosic /

Team Notes

Injuries are the Clippers’ biggest enemy

With Blake Griffin missing significant time in the past few seasons and new Clippers’ forward Danilo Gallinari also known for being injury-prone. The Clippers are very much limited by the health of their roster. The team is deep enough to deal with players missing small amounts of time, but any major injury could put the Clippers’ playoff hopes in jeopardy and risk the team missing the postseason for the first time under Doc Rivers.

Related Story: LA Clippers already suffering from injury

Lob City is back and better than ever

The addition of Milos Teodosic to the Clippers’ roster has resulted in the rebirth of Lob City and what seems to be a change in the Clippers’ style of play. During the preseason, the team looked faster and more in sync than any team we’ve seen in the past and the ball moved around the court like it had been shot out of a cannon. With Teodosic on the floor, the Clippers would run out in transition, knowing that the Serbian wizard would find some way to zip the ball to them and set them up at the rim for an easy basket in highlight fashion. Teodosic has already become a favorite among Clippers fans and NBA fans alike due to his jaw-dropping passes and court vision.

Related Story: Rebirth of Lob City

The starting backcourt is a work in progress

When Milos Teodosic signed with the Clippers, it was reported that he was coming to LA to take over as the team’s starting point guard. However, it would seem that Doc Rivers and the coaching staff are planning on going with a starting backcourt of Patrick Beverley and Austin Rivers to start off the season, which may not be the greatest idea. When Rivers missed time in the preseason with a strained glute and Teodosic started in his place, the first unit was much more fluid on offense and Patrick Beverley and DeAndre Jordan were able to help make up for the Serbian’s average defense on the other end of the court. Benching Teodosic and playing him alongside Lou Williams is a recipe for disasters as the two players are both below average defenders and would get sliced and diced on the defensive end of the court. While it remains to be seen going forward, the fact that Teodosic is a bit older and just getting into the NBA now (meaning that he isn’t quite in NBA shape yet) could be part of the reason that he isn’t starting at point guard when the season tips off but things could eventually change once Milos had caught up.

Related Story: Milos made the NBA fall in love

This is Blake Griffin’s team

With Chris Paul gone, the Clippers are now Blake Griffin’s team to lead, both on and off of the floor. The power forward is set to be the team’s main scorer on offense and will likely handle a good amount of the playmaking duties as he had in the past when Paul was injured. In the offseason and preseason, Griffin has seemed more focused and more matured than he has in prior seasons and looks like he is ready to take the Clippers to the playoffs despite the Western Conference becoming even stronger in the offseason.

Related Story: Blake Griffin's leadership will make or break the Clippers

A new face in the booth

The LA Clippers had another surprising departure and addition in the 2017 offseason, but this time in the broadcasting booth. The team let go of long-time Clippers color commentator Michael Smith and brought in former ESPN analyst Bruce Bowen to pair alongside Ralph Lawler courtside at Clippers games.

Related Story: Bruce Bowen's first call for the Clippers

When to watch

The LA Clippers open up the 2017-2018 NBA season against the crosstown rival Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, October 19th. The game tips off at  7:30pm PST/10:30pm EST and will be broadcasted live on TNT.