How Avery Bradley sitting out Orlando benefits the LA Clippers

LA Clippers Patrick Beverley (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Patrick Beverley (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Avery Bradley sitting out in Orlando benefits the LA Clippers if they face the Lakers.

Avery Bradley announced on Tuesday that he does not plan to join the Los Angeles Lakers in Orlando for the resumption of the 2019-20 season as several other players have decided. Him opting to not play will benefit the LA Clippers if the two teams do meet in the Western Conference Finals.

Before we get into the “why”, let me just say I fully understand and am on board with Bradley’s decision. Going to play a game and win a championship is nowhere near as important as family and Bradley’s decision to stay at home to protect them (specifically his 6-year-old who has a history of respiratory illnesses) is an upstanding one.

With that out of the way, Bradley will be missed on the court.

Averaging just 8.6 points per game, Bradley was a thorn in the Clippers’ side the last time they met, scoring 24 points en route to the Lakers’ first victory over the Clips. Many have joked about how he offers no offense (especially Clipper Nation after his stint here) but his defense has been solid and he did start 44 games for the Lakers this season. It’s not his contributions that are the reason he will be missed, however.

It’s his replacements.

Who gets more time if Bradley leaves? There are two choices for Frank Vogel: Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso.

The latter is a decent enough player but has been memed to the point where he is vastly overrated. Can Caruso play defense? Sure. Does he provide it at the same level as Bradley? Nope. He’s also shooting the three-ball at a lower percentage than Bradley, which means clogging the lane for LeBron James and Anthony Davis becomes that much easier.

Vogel has notoriously overplayed Rondo this season and with Bradley now a non-factor may do it even more. We all know Rondo is not a true threat from deep (32.8% on 2.6 attempts per game) and is not the defender he once was. This is where the Clippers would benefit the most.

If Rondo has to play late-game situations, the Clippers not only have a weaker defender on the court, but they also have someone to try and hide Lou Williams on when on the defensive end. If that’s the case and they can keep Lou from getting switched off Rondo, the Clips will be tough to beat.

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As of now, the season is scheduled to resume on July 30. Until then, make sure you are checking back here for all your LA Clippers’ news, coverage, and rumors!