Even with the LA Clippers missing four of their main players, the team managed to scrap a 105-100 win out of their second scrimmage game.
For most LA Clippers fans, the thought of missing Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Ivica Zubac, and Patrick Beverley would be terrifying, and for good reason. Two starters and two bench stars that play a large load of minutes being gone is not ideal, but with the surprising depth that the Clippers boast, everything looked decent enough during the win over Washington yesterday.
1. Even without Lou and Trezz, the bench can play!
From this game, there are three main takeaways that most Clippers fans, including myself, can start to breathe a little easier with. The main takeaway is that the Clippers still have a deadly bench without Lou and Montrezl who are both Sixth Man of the Year candidates.
In 123 total minutes, the bench scored 65 points out of the total 105 that LA came up with, and two of the highest scorers were G-Leaguers that were brought up to help. Terance Mann and Amir Coffey stood tall with 13 points each. Aside from the younger players, veteran Patrick Patterson scored the highest amount from the bench with 16 points in 23 minutes.
2. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are still good
Even with how amazing the bench was, the second takeaway from this game is simply the fact that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are very, very good.
It seems pretty obvious, but with bad news getting in the way, sometimes it is hard to forget the good news. The Clippers have a devastating combo at their disposal, and with their combined basketball IQ, they can easily run the floor to give everyone a boost to play better. George finished with 11 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds in 24 minutes, and Leonard finished with 6 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds in 24 minutes.
This is just the start for the duo, however, and it will be fun to see what they can do to whip together more wins with or without the full squad behind them. Without the full squad, the last takeaway from yesterday is that the prospect pool for LA is going to be key in the future.
3. Terance Mann showed why the Clippers were high on him
With Mann getting 13 points, 4 assists, and 7 rebounds alongside Coffey with his 13 points, 1 assist, and no rebounds, the young prospects continue to drive the LA Clippers on and off the court. In their last two games, both have provided a lot for the team in the paint, and the gift of having prospects to eat up time for the veterans that need breaks is one that the team needs more than ever right now.
In closing, the bench combining with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George being so potent showed the NBA and LA Clippers fans that the absence of even the most key players hasn’t slowed LA down.
Alongside the veterans are the rookies that drive the team in the paint, and when anyone puts these three takeaways together, it shows that the Clippers aren’t going down without a fight in the upcoming eight remaining games.