The fully healthy LA Clippers glide past the Hornets to victory

Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

Following three days of rest, the LA Clippers played exceptionally well against the Charlotte Hornets. This game was crucial as it showed how dominant the team could be when injuries are not a factor. Since tip off, countless players were thriving on both ends and filling up the stat sheet.

Furthermore, one of the biggest reasons this game held importance was because of the superstar duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. In most cases, when these two are healthy, the LA Clippers’ chances of winning games go through the roof. This did not change against Charlotte, as Leonard and George combined for 38 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 assists, along with two steals and two blocks.

However, this game was in the hands of sharpshooting wings Luke Kennard and Nicolas Batum. Not only did these two knock down a total of 11 three-pointers, but they also shot 11-18 in the process. What’s even crazier is that both of these shooters did not eclipse 25 minutes of action.

That said, the shooting of Batum and Kennard ties into the return of the superstar duo. The court is spaced out, with much more room to shoot when Leonard and George are on the floor. This strategy allows Kennard, Batum, and several others to play the perimeter with no contest from the defense.

The LA Clippers were extremely close to a flawless performance.

Although the LA Clippers won by 21 points, they turned the ball over at a ridiculous rate. The Clippers’ 27 turnovers should not go under the radar. Head coach Tyronn Lue must address this in the film room, as this has been an issue all year.

On the flip side, the LA Clippers shot 50.6% from the field, 46.9% from three, and 91.3% from the line. If they had kept their turnovers under control, they would have destroyed the Hornets by much more. This adds to how elite the Clippers can be if they fix a correctable issue behind the scenes.

Moreover, the return of the slashing wing Norman Powell was also highly awaited. When healthy, Powell elevated the Clippers to another level. Though he only played 19 minutes in his return, Powell posted 14 points, two rebounds, and two assists while shooting 4-8 from the field. It is clear that an injury-free Clippers roster could quickly work their way to a finals appearance.

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Nevertheless, the LA Clippers take on their former head coach, Doc Rivers, and the Philadelphia 76ers. This contest is a must-win, as Lue and his squad are only 1.5 games back from the first seed. A victory on the road could potentially shift the Clippers’ season in the right direction.