LA Clippers: Takeaways, expectations and fears at the halfway point

LA Clippers (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LA Clippers (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers
LA ClippersKawhi LeonardPaul GeorgePatrick BeverleyLou WilliamsMontrezl Harrell(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Second Half Expectations

Ryan Snellings

I think the biggest thing to look for is a certain level of consistency. As I alluded to earlier, the LA Clippers have barely been healthy. That’s starting to change, however. Paul George still might miss a few more games, but once he returns we can see the rotations start to normalize.

Once that happens, the Clippers can really start to figure things out. Doc seems to be excited to work with different lineups and as recently as last night acknowledged some of his shortcomings this season, such as making a more focused effort in getting Landry Shamet looks.

The “figuring it out” period is coming to a close and in the second half of the season, we should see the team hit the stride.

Brian Cullen

As stated in the last slide (Editor’s note: And by me above), the team is still figuring it out. My biggest expectation is that continues, and we see the pendulum swing a little less every game until the team has put together a perfect marriage of stifling defense and inspired offense.

I think we can all fully expect to see the intensity begin to turn up. This team is full of vets that have played a lot of games and appreciate what the grind of a season can do to postseason performance. Not only have we seen the team at just partial strength, but I do also believe that we’ve seen them playing at partial effort too. As annoying as that can be to watch, it will pay off when it counts most.

If I had to bet on it I would put my money on this team hitting a very scary switch after the All-Star break that will remind everyone why the Clippers were picked by most analysts to win it all this year. Chemistry and schemes will only tighten up as the year continues.

Joseph Raya-Ward

Second Half Expectations: Figuring Out The Offense

Even though it has largely been successful, the offense has definitely looked clunky at times. The Clippers run the 8th most isolation possessions per game, and the results haven’t been exactly what you’d expect from a team that employs Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Lou Williams. On isolation plays the Clippers are shooting 40% overall with a 43.1% EFG, and are only scoring on 41.6% of those plays. All of those numbers rank in the bottom half of the league.

To make matters worse, the Clippers are 24th in Assist Percentage, 22nd in Turnover Percentage, and 24th in Assist to Turnover Ratio. That’s….well, that’s not good.

A lot of this can be chalked up to the injury bug the team has caught in the first half of the season, with multiple rotation pieces missing significant amounts of time. This coupled with a tough schedule to start the season has led to precious little practice time for the full squad. That can be tough on team chemistry and limits the number of plays Doc Rivers can install in the offense.

I fully expect the team to figure out ways to come together over the next half of the season, whether it be through practices or game reps. So far, the team has been able to out-talent teams, relying on their biggest stars when the game matters most. That margin for error shrinks exponentially the deeper a potential playoff run gets.