LA Clippers unwrap a “W” against the Nuggets in Christmas Showdown

LA Clippers Paul George (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Paul George (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

They say the season doesn’t truly begin until Christmas Day, and that rings especially true for the LA Clippers this season.

The LA Clippers are on a mission to redeem themselves after suffering an embarrassing collapse against the Nuggets in the conference semifinals last season in the bubble.

It was the kind of collapse that would end up turning a team that was looked at as being a contender for the title into a sour punchline – one that would continue to stick with the Clippers throughout the rest of the postseason and into the offseason.

Fast forward to Christmas day, following an offseason that was highlighted in big moves and definitely what I would consider addition by subtraction. For example, the hole left by the loss of Trezz to the cross-hall rival that is the Lakers was overshadowed by the addition of Serge Ibaka (aka Surge protector).

This was a huge plus, not only from a team perspective, but from the chemistry perspective. This is also a reunion of former Raptor teammates and NBA champions Kawhi and Ibaka .

From the opening tip, it became very apparent that the LA Clippers wanted to send a message to the Denver Nuggets that what happened last season in the semifinals won’t happen again. Something along the lines of “you guys are simply not on our level,” along with a sense of “this is our season of redemption, and if you’re not a part of this team, then you’re just simply in our way. We have no issue going through you on our way to where we should have been last season and aim to be this season.”

As a part of that message, Clipper stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 16 of 28 (57%) shooting from the field with George pouring in a solid 5 of 9 (55%) from beyond the arc. This all went along with a very successful night for Serge Ibaka, who shot 6 of 9 (66%) from the field and a perfect 2 of 2 from beyond the arc.

Next. Understanding Ivica Zubac’s new role on the LA Clippers. dark

What is even better is knowing that, along with the additions of Ibaka and Nicolas Batum to go along with Zubac (who is only going to get better as the season progresses), Marcus Morris is still due to make his regular season debut at some point which will only make this Clipper squad that much better and scarier in this season of redemption.