Despite a rocky beginning, the LA Clippers remained strong and notched the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Though this may be an accomplishment, this squad has a long fight ahead of them before they can celebrate.
Especially without the franchise centerpiece, Paul George, players like Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook will have to step up in his absence. However, this should not be a problem as ‘Playoff Kawhi’ tends to flip a switch in the postseason.
Additionally, several role players will be expected to contribute in any way possible. This could be Bones Hyland, Nicolas Batum, and even Ivica Zubac. Conversely, the Phoenix Suns may have the most offensive firepower in the NBA. This means the LA Clippers must turn it up a notch on defense if they want to survive the first round.
Although the LA Clippers may have their share of superstars and high-end role players, one two-way wing on the roster will be seen as an x-factor for head coach Tyronn Lue. That said, feeding Robert Covington as many minutes as possible will guide LA to four wins in the first round.
Robert Covington is the secret gem for the LA Clippers.
Since the start of the season, Robert Covington has been in and out of the lineup for the LA Clippers. Due to this, most fans would assume that he had been underperforming, and the coaching staff had no choice but to take his minutes away. This was not the case; Covington shined in every opportunity he received.
Moreover, the playoffs are a different level of basketball. The Phoenix Suns have Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, two of some of the league’s best bucket-getters. While guarding them may not be easy, Covington should be used to defend Durant. This gives Leonard a more manageable load, allowing him to dominate on the other end.
Completely shutting down Durant may be a challenging task. Still, Covington’s build and quick hands will force him into attempting difficult shots. For head coach Tyron Lue and the coaching staff, that is all you can ask for when guarding arguably the greatest scoring wing of all time.