LA Clippers 2019-20 Preview: Expectations are the highest in franchise history

LA Clippers (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
LA Clippers (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers
LA ClippersKawhi LeonardPatrick BeverleyLou Williams(Photo by Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images) /

Expected Lineups

With training camp now in full swing, we can start to piece together what lineups Doc Rivers will trot out. We already know that Paul George will be out until mid-November at least, so let’s start there. The projected opening night lineups look like this:

Starting Unit

  • PG – Patrick Beverley
  • SG – Landry Shamet
  • SF – Kawhi Leonard
  • PF – Maurice Harkless
  • C – Ivica Zubac

Second Unit

  • PG – Terance Mann
  • SG – Lou Williams
  • SF – Rodney McGruder
  • PF – JaMychal Green
  • C – Montrezl Harrell

Even without George, the starting unit has a solid combination of offense and defense. Harkless and Leonard should be able to switch on defense with ease while Zubac is suited for guarding the traditional center that most teams trot out.

The second unit, headed by the deadly combination of Lou and Trezz still has a lot of talent. Green can provide spacing, Mann will play tough defense and McGruder will McGrude. (Hey, I’m not going to pretend I watch every NBA player. I’ll see him in preseason!)

When George returns is when the lineups become really interesting. Does Kawhi slide down to the power forward spot? Does Landry Shamet get moved to the second unit and knock Terance Mann out of the rotation? We aren’t really sure.

One of the best qualities of the way this roster is constructed is that we can get a ton of different lineup combinations. Need more offense? Put JaMychal at the center. Need more defense? Throw in a combination of Kawhi, PG, Bev, Trezz, and Harkless.

light. Must Read. Four Interesting Lineups

While starting lineups are great and all, what really matters is the group that will close. Health permitting, this is who we should see on the court in late-game situations.

  • PG – Patrick Beverley
  • SG – Lou Williams
  • SF – Paul George
  • PF – Kawhi Leonard
  • C – Montrezl Harrell

That’s a very, very potent offensive lineup with only one bad defender in Lou. The unit should have no issues closing games and has three players capable of creating their own shot. That’s not a slight towards Harrell nor Beverley either. I already covered how much of an offensive impact Harrell can be, but it’s worth remembering that last season Beverley hit 39.7% of his 3.6 attempts from three last season.

With so much attention being given to Lou, PG, and Kawhi, Beverley will be open a lot during late-game situations. He’s fully capable of knocking them down and if he is hitting, I don’t see how any team can stop this group.