LA Clippers: 3 Surprises From the First Eleven Games

LA Clippers Paul George (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Paul George (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers, Nicolas Batum
LA Clippers Nicolas Batum Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

After 11 games, the LA Clippers are at 7-4, and several things have already surprised us about the season. Here’s the three biggest surprises for me.

For many reasons, this season hasn’t gone the way fans of the LA Clippers have expected, both in good and bad ways. Between the strange offseason and all the impacts of the pandemic on the league, this has been a weird season for every team, and we’re only a few weeks in. Let’s take a look at three of the biggest surprises for me, early in this season.

LA Clippers Surprise #1: The Resurgence of Nicolas Batum

It’s impossible to talk about the biggest surprises so far for the LA Clippers without mentioning Nicolas Batum. The French wing has been a revelation for a Clippers team that, as it turns out, couldn’t afford to miss on that move.

After being all but written off as washed in Charlotte, Batum is averaging 10.3/5.6/2.9 on the most efficient shooting he’s ever had in his career – he’s shooting an insane 67.8% True Shooting percentage. He’s doing it while keeping the ball moving and playing smart defense.

With a lack of contribution from their young players and Patrick Patterson, and with Marcus Morris unexpectedly missing several games to start the season, Batum was suddenly thrust into a starting role that exactly nobody expected him to step into.

And wow, has he performed admirably. So much so that the starting lineup for the LA Clippers is the best in the league, and Marcus Morris stepped up upon his return and asked to come off the bench, so as to avoid throwing off the great performance of the starters.

If you told me before the season started that Batum was going to be the starting wing, I would have assumed something bad had happened, and I would definitely not have predicted a 7-4 start. I can’t think about what’s impressed me the most this season without immediately jumping to Nicolas Batum.