With 2020 kicking off, we give Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the rest of the LA Clippers some New Years Resolutions for the remainder of the season.
Lou Williams – Passing and Defense
It’s no secret that Lou Williams is a defensive liability. Though he has shown moments of competence and aggressiveness on the defensive end, he’s been exposed more often than not.
Lou’s going to have bad shooting days — you live by it, you die by it, we expect that — but on those bad shooting days, the key is to not be giving up so much on the other end as well. We’re going to need Lou’s clutch shotmaking to close out games, so one resolution for him is to find consistency in his defensive game — which, when he’s on, it’s actually not bad — to keep from being such an attractive attack target.
The other is passing. This may seem silly, but every time he does a John Elway long bomb, it always, always feels like it’s on the edge of control. I don’t think it helps as much as it hurts. Let’s kill the cherry-pick pass.
Also, sometimes Lou’s passes are solid from a choice standpoint, but in execution, come out slow enough to be intercepted. I’m not sure what it is — if he’s telegraphing the pass too much, if his action is too slow, or if the ball just doesn’t have enough snap — but when he’s in traffic, some of the LA Clippers’ turnovers have come at smart passes done way too slowly. Cutting down the passer-to-receiver time would go a long way toward reducing turnovers.
Montrezl Harrell – Good Health and Free Throws
I almost don’t even want to mention free throws, because Montrezl Harrell has actually improved from last season somewhat. He made both of his shots against the Lakers, so what more can you ask of him? The hope is simply that he continues on the path of improvement and possibly, fingers-crossed, he can get up to around 70% and higher from the charity stripe.
Aside from that? I mean, he does the job that’s asked of him. And he does it perfectly. The only other real resolution from him is the same as Kawhi’s — staying healthy. Logging an average of 29.2 minutes per game, with his pace and motor, you’d think he might be hurting for some rest. But Trezz always seems like the unbreakable ironman of the roster.
But that said, I wouldn’t be upset if we reduced a little bit of his minutes. Not just because Trezz needs the rest, but also because…