NBA Playoff Odds: The Los Angeles Clippers’ 2021 Title Chances
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers.
Los Angeles Clippers NBA Playoff Odds
How the L.A. Clippers Got Here
The Clippers have fared quite well in Year 2 of the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George partnership. Both missed their fair share of games but provided great two-way production.
George, specifically, has looked more comfortable this season: His scoring numbers rose but more importantly, he finished in the top three on the Clippers in assists per game.
George focusing on making plays for others has led to the Clippers easily possessing one of the most efficient offenses in the league.
With Leonard, George, Nicolas Batum, and Marcus Morris playing heavy minutes for head coach Tyronn Lue, Los Angeles will be able to slow down most offenses in the postseason.
Batum — who was coming off of a terrible, injury-riddled season with the Charlotte Hornets — has been a key player for the Clippers this season. His 3-point shooting is back around what it was at his peak. His emergence, along with the presence of veterans like DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo make the Clippers an even tougher out than last season.
Outside of Leonard and George having their usual diet of rest nights, the Clippers’ biggest injury concern is big man Serge Ibaka. He has been a solid rim protector and 3-point shooter but has missed 32 games this season.
Ibaka’s presence will help Lue when he needs to pivot to small-ball lineups that offer more floor spacing. The Clippers will need Ibaka as close to 100% as he can get for the matchups with the toughest big men in the West (i.e. Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis).
For the season, the Clippers were decent Against The Spread (ATS) on the road but great ATS at home. This bodes well for the Clippers’ postseason matchups, as they a tough matchup against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round.