Though the LA Clippers lost two straight to Dallas and Milwaukee, their additions at the trade deadline helped push them past the Golden State Warriors. This win could be seen as season-altering with how each player contributed on both sides of the ball.
Especially the well-rounded talents of Mason Plumlee, his scoring and ability to boost the pace of the offense is something head coach Tyronn Lue hasn’t had all season. Not to mention he is a phenomenal rebounder and rim protector. Additionally, Bones Hyland and Eric Gordon showed signs that would help the team significantly during the postseason.
However, franchise superstar Kawhi Leonard was playing on another level. On top of his 33 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, Leonard shot 12-of-17 with seven made three-pointers. This performance was extravagant, considering he missed the last battle due to injury management.
Along with Leonard stood Paul George, who also played at a ridiculously high level. He posted 20 points and eight assists while shooting 50% from the field. If he can continue these showings, opposing teams will struggle heavily against the LA Clippers.
The LA Clippers are turning the corner at the perfect time.
As careless mistakes have been a constant miscue for the LA Clippers, they only turned the ball over eight times against the Warriors, including zero in the third quarter. This was partially because of Hyland’s burst off the bench, despite only scoring six points in his debut.
In addition, the slashing tandem of Norman Powell and Terance Mann was in full effect from start to finish. These two combined for 40 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists while shooting nearly 63% from the field.
Moreover, this game showed what the strategy would look like moving forward. Lue and the coaching staff utilize their depth and will spread the minutes between the players who are playing well. This explains why Nicolas Batum and Marcus Morris didn’t receive their usual time on the court.
That said, the LA Clippers get closer to the All-Star break with their next contest against the Phoenix Suns. Sparking a notable stretch of wins would be huge for Lue and his squad, primarily because of how close the Western Conference race currently stands. Winning games is all that matters, and the Clippers should find no trouble finishing as a top-four seed.