LA Clippers lineup: How Luke Kennard can earn more minutes this year

Luke Kennard, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Luke Kennard, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports /

Luke Kennard is going to be getting paid a lot of money this season by the LA Clippers.

He signed a four-year/$64 million extension with the Clips in December of 2020. There are things Kennard does really well. For instance, he’s a great shooter, and was ninth in three-point percentage this year at 44.6%.

He’s not going to get a spike in minutes this year by just shooting, however. He’ll need to work on other parts of his game to make a more all-around impact this season.

Luke Kennard will need to develop on defense if he wants more minutes on the LA Clippers.

Think back to the early games in the Western Conference Semifinals for the LA Clippers, and how Luke Kennard performed.

Think specifically back to Game 1. Kennard was lights out as far as offense goes, nailing four out of six three-point shots, and hitting all three of his two-point attempts. He had 18 points that game.

Kawhi Leonard, however, was just 9 of 19. Paul George was just 4 for 17 for 20 points.

Kawhi and PG were struggling. Kennard was so efficient on offense that he had to stay in. However, Donovan Mitchell ate him up on the other end.

Mitchell went off for 45 on 16 of 30 shooting (6 of 15 from deep). He went crazy on Kennard, and it showed that while Kennard is a good offensive player, his defense is a liability on the court. He can’t always be trusted to man a ton of minutes when he’s one-dimensional as a player.

And I don’t mean to come across as saying that Kennard is some horrible defensive player. He’s not, and had some clutch steals and defensive moments in the playoffs. We need more of it, though, because it’s not a strength in his game.

There are going to be times next year where we’re going to need his shooting. If he comes in and shoots well, but can’t improve on defense, then we may need to go a different route in those situations. This is a deep team, and it’s going to be hard to get playing time.

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There are plenty of teams Kennard could get significant playing time and even start for. It’s a different beast over here with this team, and Ty Lue isn’t afraid to adjust if he needs to this season. It doesn’t matter if somebody is making the league minimum, or if they’re getting paid Kennard money.