LA Clippers: 3 players who will provide defensive fortitude

Marcus Morris Sr., LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Marcus Morris Sr., LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3
Serge Ibaka, LA Clippers
Serge Ibaka, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Clippers are one of the best defensive teams in the National Basketball Association.

Think they were good on defense last year? Well try playing them this year now that they’re mostly healthier and now have a full year in Ty Lue’s defensive game plan under their belt.

Kawhi Leonard’s hurt, right? Patrick Beverley’s gone, right? Right and right, but this team has such underrated depth on the team defensively, and they also added a couple of players in Eric Bledsoe and Justise Winslow who have done big things in this league on the defensive end before.

Three key players on the Clippers are not just offensive playmakers, but defensive menaces as well. All three of these guys need to be as exceptional as they always are on defense.

No. 3 LA Clippers player who will provide defensive fortitude: Serge Ibaka

Teams are going to try to get our quick wings off of their ball-handlers and on-ball playmakers when they play against the LA Clippers next year. They’re going to try to force our bigs to switch on to them. It’s going to be much easier to do that now that we don’t have Kawhi Leonard to help eliminate those mismatches.

That’s not a good idea when Serge Ibaka‘s on the court, however. Why do you think the Mavericks tried to do it all the time when Ivica Zubac was out there in the first round of the playoffs, but never when Ibaka was? It’s because Ibaka is quick for his size and can keep up with quicker players.

Ibaka isn’t some agile freak with elite speed, but he has some quickness to his feet, and makes up for the rest with his length. One of Ibaka’s three blocks in the postseason last year (remember, Ibaka had three blocks in just 18 minutes of play) was even off of Doncic straight up. Doncic just tried to take on Ibaka at the perimeter and failed miserably.

This was also when Ibaka was hampered by an injury. A healthy Ibaka, which we will likely be getting next year, has no problem chasing anyone down, and has the size to help out whenever the ball leaks to the paint.