Biggest surprise of the LA Clippers’ 2021-2022 season so far

Isaiah Hartenstein, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah Hartenstein, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Clippers have had their ups and downs this season, both as a team and within many of their individual players.

One player, who’s a new player with the team, wasn’t a very well-known player earlier in his career. Now that he has the chance to play for a team in LA, he’s been put under the microscope. Luckily for both him and the Clippers, he’s really grown with his new team.

Isaiah Hartenstein has been the second-best center on the team this year, and has proven why he was picked over Harry Giles to be one of the three centers on this roster.

Isaiah Hartenstein has been fun to watch for the LA Clippers.

Isaiah Hartenstein has kept the LA Clippers from constantly needing to play small ball. That’s because of how well he’s played, despite not being a supremely athletic, mobile center on a small ball team who can stretch the floor and shoot from deep. The 7 foot tall, 250 pound Hartenstein has outperformed expectations, and had the best year of his four-year career.

He’s averaging 7.7 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, and 1.3 blocks per game, which are all career highs. He’s also shooting the best he ever has from the field, at 66.2%. Hartenstein is doing all this in just 16.4 minutes per contest.

And while that’s not a lot, it’s not bad for a backup center on a small ball team, especially when he wasn’t supposed to even get to 16.4. He was supposed to be the third string center at best, and many predicted him to not even make the roster. Beating out the former first round pick in Giles, he proved to Ty Lue what he was capable of and never looked back.

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While many Clippers have stepped up and developed this year, Hartenstein’s development sticks out the most.