Los Angeles Clippers have become the top contenders for the NBA title race after acquiring Kawhi Leonard in the NBA free agency. Paul George was also traded in on the request of Leonard and the duo looks solid. Everything is looking fine for the Clippers, the owner and coach were excited during the press event.
On paper, the Clippers are currently at the first position in terms of NBA power rankings. But it doesn’t mean that the same thing will exactly play out on the basketball court. The Clippers have to devise a proper playing strategy for Leonard, otherwise, it could create a lot of trouble for them. There are chances of Leonard getting injured and also issues of similar gameplay with George.
Injuries and Load Management
It went badly for the San Antonio Spurs in 2017 when Kawhi Leonard injured his ankle while playing against Kevin Durant. In the next season, Leonard was only able to play 9 games and took his time to recover. The Spurs lost their patience and traded Leonard to the Toronto Raptors in a trade deal.
Even though Leonard went on to win the NBA title for Raptors after that, it doesn’t mean that every time he will get better with an injury. The other problem that head coach Doc Rivers is facing about load management and player rotation. It is hard to decide a proper number of games which guarantees your playoff chances and doesn’t even make you prone to injuries.
Western Conference have tough Competition
NBA 2018-19 season was easy for Kawhi Leonard as Toronto Raptors as part of the Eastern Conference. Now that Leonard is part of the LA Clippers, he will know the real competition which happens in the Western Conference.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George could be big off the court too, as the #Clippers boost their image. Tickets? Selling fast. New arena? Coming soon. New TV deal? Same, and it could be radical. New logo? New name? Anything is possible. https://t.co/P1NroPr8sn
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 26, 2019
Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, Golden State Warriors, etc. will all give a tough competition to the Clippers before the playoffs. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are having the best odds to beat any NBA team. At the same time, James Harden and Russel Westbrook have also reunited making it do or die for the Clippers and Leonard.