The LA Clippers blew a playoff hopeful Memphis Grizzlies team out of the gym and reminded the NBA that health has been their biggest limitation this year.
In a blink and you missed it first quarter, the LA Clippers outscored the Memphis Grizzlies 40-14. The team was clicking on both ends and seemingly quelled all concern that Clippers’ Twitter had in just a span of twelve minutes. While the rest of the game wasn’t quite that dominant, the team still proved something. When they are healthy, the LA Clippers are scary.
In case you haven’t paid attention this season, I can count the number of times this team has had its full roster available on one hand.
The Clippers have had just five games with the full roster at their disposal. Coincidentally, they have won all five of those matchups by an average of 12.8 points according to StatMuse.
For all the media criticism over the past couple of weeks, that needs to be repeated over and over. The Clippers lead the league in different starting lineups, having trotted out 29 different units during their 57 games. That’s almost a new lineup every third game.
We all knew about Kawhi Leonard and his injury management but the time Paul George, Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet, and several others have missed makes it extremely difficult for the team to build chemistry.
New additions Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris need reps, especially the latter as he tries to integrate himself into a support role after spending the first half of the season as the number one option in New York.
I wanted the team to err on the side of caution but seeing both George and Beverley back on the court last night felt great. With just 25 games left in the regular season, playing together is going to be so important. The team has shown that they can be dominant and put the fear in opponents if everyone is on the floor. Health is really their biggest limitation.
When asked about finally having everyone back and putting together a complete game, Paul George had this to say:
“This is what we talked about. This is what we dreamed of when this all came together. This is the squad and the team that we thought we would be.”
Now that everyone is seemingly healthy we just need to see consistency. With a winnable game against Phoenix on Wednesday followed by a tough fight versus Denver on Friday, there’s no better time to continue the elevated level of play.