Doc Rivers has options with the LA Clippers starting lineup

LA Clippers (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LA Clippers (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With the team almost completely healthy, LA Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers has a lot of different options when it comes to the starting five.

With JaMychal Green due to come back any time now (we hope), the LA Clippers will finally be 100% healthy for the first time this season. This is good news for head coach Doc Rivers who can finally play around with his starting five based upon the opponent.

This isn’t to say we expect the current starting five of Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Maurice Harkless, and Ivica Zubac to not be the main starting group for 90% of matchups. This group has a very solid combination of both offense and defense and the ability to switch one through four is unmatched in this league. Instead, it is just a reminder that Doc does have options.

Does an opponent like the Lakers or the 76ers have two big men? Throw JaMychal Green or Patrick Patterson in at the four in lieu of Harkless. Both can help with his size while still providing spacing for the two superstars. Harkless can then come off the bench and provide some defense with the second unit while not taking away from the Montrezl Harrell/Lou Williams pick-and-roll combo.

Need more offense on the court? Slide Kawhi and PG down a spot to the four and three respectively and start Landry Shamet at the two. Much like the previously mentioned lineup, Shamet provides spacing for the two stars. The difference here is that he will have multiple sets run for him and if he gets going early, the team will be near impossible to stop.

Back in October during training camp, Doc told reporters that he would likely implement a sliding starting lineup at some point this season. While that’s been the case out of necessity due to injury, he very well could still use that with a healthy squad.

Next. Doc Rivers shuts down LeBron on load management. dark

The team’s first chance to employ a different lineup could come on Christmas Day when the team squares off against the Lakers. Although I doubt Doc strays from what’s working on that day, it’s nice to know that this team has great enough depth to give him that option.