We explore the LA Clippers’ own version of Denver’s all-big starting five.
The LA Clippers roster versatility is one of the team’s major strengths. Their ability to throw different looks onto the floor to counteract whatever their opponents do the best helps to make them a matchup nightmare for any team in the NBA. One Western Conference rival recently trotted out a starting lineup that would certainly be cause for some lineup adjustments.
The Denver Nuggets chose to go very big for their starting five in their first exhibition game in Orlando yesterday. So big, in fact, that their starting unit of Nikola Jokic (7’0″), Jerami Grant (6’8″), Bol Bol (7’2″), Paul Millsap (6’7″), and Mason Plumlee (6’11”) registered as the tallest starting five in NBA history.
It got us thinking: what if the Clippers wanted to showcase a super-big lineup of their own?
Center: Ivaca Zubac (7’0″)
We kick off our ultra-big LA Clippers lineup where any ultra-big lineup should begin and that’s at the center position. The Clippers stay consistent by keeping their regular starting center at the five spot for their ultra-big lineup.
Ivaca Zubac, the 22-year-old, 7’0″, 240 lb. center would make a great anchor for any lineup and gets the nod here to bang in the paint and go after rebounds for the Clippers all-big starting five. His NBA-best 15.2 Offensive Rebounding Percentage will help him clean up the glass and get second-chance points for a unit that might not exactly light it up from beyond the arc.
Power Forward: Joakim Noah (6’11”)
The Clippers added Joakim Noah to their roster just before the league shut down and while the 35-year-old veteran has yet to suit up in a real game for the team, they have locked him in as part of their team for the rest of this season.
Noah bring experience, veteran leadership, and a Defensive Player of the Year pedigree to the Clippers ultra-big lineup. The 13-year NBA veteran should also have fresh legs after having not played basketball since the 2018-29 season with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Noah suited up and played in the Clippers’ first exhibition game in Orlando yesterday. Yahoo’s Chris Broussard believes his presence on the roster can help the Clippers overtake the Lakers and win the Western Conference.
Small Forward: Montrezl Harrell (6’7″)
The Sixth Man of the Year Candidate is typically the undersized second-unit center for the Clippers, bringing energy and excitement from the bench on a nightly basis. But in our ultra-big Clippers starting five, Montrezl Harrell takes the small forward position where his energy and athleticism should help him match up with any “small” forward from an opposition’s super-big unit.
Harrell sees himself as the “modern-day Rodman” and in this lineup, he would get to showcase his defense and rebounding talents while also getting to use his pick-and-roll prowess on the offensive end of the court. He’d certainly be a handful for any opposing lineup, big, small, or in-between.
Shooting Guard: Marcus Morris (6’8″)
The decision for the starting two-guard spot came down to Marcus Morris or JaMychal Green. Morris gets the advantage in that he’s already part of the Clippers starting lineup, he’s got a weight advantage over Green, and when we’re going for ultra-big, weight should factor in our final decision.
Morris was also brought in to help the Clippers spread the floor and while that role certainly fits him as a starting power forward, we want to see it translate here when (if) the Clippers ever go super-big.
Point Guard: Paul George (6’8″)
Paul George gets the nod over Kawhi Leonard for the final starting position in the Clippers super-big lineup because he’s got a one-inch advantage over his teammate. While both players can certainly excel with the ball in their hands, we see George running things from the point guard position a little more smoothly than Leonard.
George is currently sporting a career-high 21.2 percent Assist Rate this season with the Clippers. His passing ability, defensive versatility, and ability to score in the iso or the pick-and-roll will help him run the show for our oversized Clippers starting five.