In the 2021-22 NBA season, Amir Coffey, a third-year pro from the University of Minnesota, found a legitimate role on the LA Clippers amid the injuries to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. He had been waiting for his number to be called since entering the league, and it is safe to say he did not disappoint.
During that season, Coffey averaged 9.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting a respectable 45.3% from the field and 37.8% from three. These numbers paved the way for the rising star to receive a three-year extension with the Clippers.
However, Leonard and George found themselves at full health in the following season, and Coffey was left to be the odd man out of the rotation. Not only did his minutes drop significantly, but his numbers and percentages did as well.
Now, over 25 games into the 2023-24 regular season, Clipper fans can confidently say that Coffey’s shooting and defense have played a pivotal role in the team’s recent success.
In the paint or on the perimeter, Amir Coffey has been a spark on the court for the Clippers
In Paul George’s first absence of the season, Amir Coffey shot the lights out against the Golden State Warriors. On top of 18 points and four made three-pointers, the former Gopher posted four rebounds and knocked down several crucial shots down the stretch.
Less than a week later, George missed another game due to illness. Once again, Coffey received the start and was nothing short of excellent. In just under 40 minutes, he dropped 12 points, five boards, three assists, and played some solid defense against one of the league’s best offensive talents in Luka Doncic.
Furthermore, it has been a trend that when Coffey receives minutes, the Clippers perform much better on both ends of the court. In addition to being a reliable three-point shooter, Coffey’s defensive awareness and IQ are off the charts.
That said, Coffey’s contributions were one of the main reasons the LA Clippers went on a nine-game winning streak. Moving forward, the coaching staff must find a way to feed him over 25 minutes per night. He is far too talented to sit on the bench when the active rotation could use his efforts.