LA Clippers: Where the team stands at All-Star Break

Paul George #13 and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Paul George #13 and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Now that the LA Clippers have hit the All-Star break, we can now assess where the team currently stands and things to look forward too in the second half of the season.

Entering All-Star Weekend at 37-18, good enough for 3rd place in the Western Conference, the LA Clippers are in great shape to make some serious noise as the NBA Playoffs near.

However, if you take a glance at social media, Clipper fans all around are unsatisfied with how the team has been performing lately even though the team has been nicked by injuries all season, added a new player while losing three players and is trying to mesh on the fly as all teams do around this time of year.

Yes, there have been some losses that leave you scratching your head but overall we should be ecstatic of how the team has performed this season.

Many will compare last season to this season but the major difference is last year’s team not having any title expectations and a microscope gazing over their every move.

We all need to come together and embrace what our culture and motto stand for and support our team through thick-and-thin.

With that being said, here is why the All-Star Break couldn’t have come at a better time.

Injury Management

After exiting Thursday’s game before halftime, Clippers’ forward Paul George suffered yet another hamstring strain that he has been dealing with all season long.

Recovering from off-season shoulder surgery on not one but both shoulders and now dealing with a lingering hamstring injury, the criticism that PG has gotten this season is absurd.

Kawhi Leonard struggled shooting to begin the season but as soon as he gained a nice rhythm of being out on the floor, he averaged over 30 points per game for eight straight games.

All PG needs is a stretch of games where he can regain his confidence and form that saw him get third-place in MVP votes last season.

He will be someone that the team monitors the rest of the season if his hammy continues to bother him. If you recall, the last Clippers superstar to deal with a hamstring injury was former guard Chris Paul (who missed over 6 weeks and 2 games in the Playoffs).

The right call may now be to consider not only load-managing Kawhi Leonard but also Paul George on back-to-backs.

More. Clippers need to be extra cautious with Paul George. light

Patrick Beverley has also struggled to remain healthy this season as he is currently dealing with a groin injury. There is no word yet if he will still be participating in the Skills Challenge this Saturday in his hometown of Chicago (I expect him to participate).

Since the Clippers won’t have another game until next Saturday, our main focus should be making sure George, Beverley are ready and healthy for the second half of the season.

Chemistry, Chemistry, Chemistry

Last season as they entered All-Star Break, the Clippers had a record of (32-27). They would end up finishing the season by going 16-7 and claiming the final seed in the Western Conference.

This season they enter the All-Star Break with a record of (37-18). Like all of Doc Rivers’s previous teams have done in the past, expect the team to ramp up the effort all-around.

Now that the “dog-days” of the season are behind us (the point after Christmas and before All-Star Weekend), you’ll usually see more teams start integrating their preferred offensive sets and start setting rotations that they’ll use in the postseason.

Yes, the load-managing will continue, but this upcoming week is pivotal for new forward Marcus Morris.

Not only will he have to move out and gather his belongings from his old place in New York, but he will also be learning his new team’s system that’ll hopefully have him looking more comfortable in role post-break.

Morris definitely flashed his ability this past week showing he can help spread the floor, put the ball on the floor and having another guy with a “dog mentality” on the court.

Already getting two techs in just three games, it will be exciting to see Morris and Beverley share the floor for their no-nonsense approach when it comes to physicality.

It’s nice that the team has chemistry off the court by going on boat trips, seeing their teammates’ jerseys get retired and putting wagers on bowling but it’s now time to lock in for the rest of the season on the hardwood.

Two Open-Roster Spots

Many forget, but the Clippers still have two open-roster spots open for available vets that are on the market or have yet to hit the market.

They have been connected to current Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (who might seek a buyout) and former Suns guard Tyler Johnson.

As of last Thursday, the team can only have 13 or fewer players on the roster for two weeks. This means that by next Thursday they must sign at least one player to have the mandatory number of 14 players on a team.

Should the team be unsuccessful in adding a free-agent off the street/buyout market, they have a perfect candidate on the bench.

Amir Coffey (currently on a two-way contract), deserves an NBA contract for the way he has performed in the last couple of games.

The south-paw from the University of Minnesota has been solid in his performances against the Cleveland Cavaliers and last night against the Boston Celtics where he defended Kemba Walker and forced him into some tough, contested shots.

It is a great sign to see that Coach Rivers is now trusting his undrafted rookie, especially since Coffey has performed well.

The way that Rodney McGruder has been playing this season, it would not be surprising to see Coffey take his minutes heading into the home-stretch.

Expect the team to start making calls for guys that want a 10-day contract to fill that final roster spot.


From sports analysts, Twitter debates, and the team getting upset at some questioning their chemistry, we as sports fans should take time to reflect on this first half of the season with a grain of salt at the losses and instead look at the positives.

The team has shown flashes of what they look like at full-potential, boasting a record of 5-0 when everyone is healthy and remains in the whole game.

Changing sports quickly, back in 2015, Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers urged fans to “Relax” on all the hot takes and scrutinizing of the team.

After he said that, the Packers would go on a historic win-streak and make the Playoffs.

Just like how Kawhi Leonard has pointed out multiple times throughout this season, the team and fans need to “enjoy every game and the journey it takes”.

Yes there will be losses or consecutive losses here and there but are we really forgetting that we added last year’s NBA Finals MVP, the third-place vote-getter in the MVP race and players that were huge in pulling off two-stunning wins in Oracle Arena during last year’s Playoffs, including a 31-point comeback.

Next. Patrick Beverley may be key to title chase. dark

Let’s not all this outside noise affect the way we view or feel the team. “Patience is the key to paradise” and that bodes well what the team has been going through this season.