* Update * The Clipper have lost to the Celtics in a double OT game with Paul George suffering an injury. It does not look good for the Clippers odds to win it all.
After the conclusion of the trade line, the Clippers came out worse than expected. Sometimes it’s better to stay put than to make any changes, but they decided to pull the trigger and trade for Marcus Morris Snr.
What they hell were they thinking?
Clippers odds of winning the championship are now plummeting. Why make a change for the sake of change?
In three games immediately after the trade, the Clippers have lost two out of three. Of course this is a small sample size and it is still early days, but trading Jerome Robinson and Moe Harkless for Morris hasn’t helped fill their pre trade needs. The Clippers were desperately looking for a solid big man, who could stretch the floor like Marc Gasol or even have someone the equivalent Pascal Siakam. You know where I’m going here right? It’s no fluke that Toronto came out winners last year. They had individuals that formed a great team and not a team of great individuals.
I can understand why Moe Harkless was considered weaker than Morris if mono v mono. Harkless has a lot of grunt and physicality, but is slightly undersized for the Clippers with the roster of players. Don’t get me wrong, I love what Harkless brings to the table. But trade him for Morris? Morris is of the same size and similar style of play. Meh? You have solved anything but brought disruption to the team.
In the third game after the trade, the Clippers lost a close one to the Philadelphia 76ers. Admittedly this was at the home court of Philly which has been a fortress for them, but still, Philadelphia is an Eastern Conference team and is generally considered weaker than the West. The Clippers can’t afford to lose to mediocre teams, and hope that they can flick the switch come play off time.
Clippers Soft Center
The foul count was skewed against the Clippers and Paul George discreetly made comments about the referees being home biased. But let’s say for a moment the refs called the game correctly. It therefore proves that the Clippers need better defenders who can stop moving big bodies. Currently the Clippers need to foul more often than other teams because of their lack of strength and physicality. Playing small ball needs the offense to exceed the gaps in defense, and at the moment it’s not. The defense hole is too great a gap to fill with the roster as is, and Marcus Morris doesn’t fill that gap. They need a big body like Gasol or Lopez. Without a big body the fouls will keep coming, and pressure will mount for the offense to be on song each and every game.
Marcus Morris Compatibility
He could make or break the Clippers season. Leonard and George are great players, however as mentioned earlier a great team of individuals is better than a team of great individuals. Marcus Morris needs to be able to work with the team and he needs to learn the nuances quickly.
Before the trade, Morris was putting up solid numbers in New York. New York, of course, is a bottom of the barrel team and Morris was the leading player. His role will of course change in the Clippers line up, hence it will be interesting to see how his numbers stack up. Unfortunately, the role of being a support player will not shine through as clearly a many foresee. With less ball in his hand, he will be less effective.
Paul George to Step Up
Is Paul George overrated? I dare say PG could be past this expiry date. Or he just isn’t that good playing alongside Leonard. Whatever it is, he is not playing as well as the team needs him to do. Against the 76ers he had a terrible game. Chucking up bricks, not locking down on defense, sloppy with the ball. George needs to pick up his game and player better.
Kawhi Leonard doing it all
Kawhi Leonard has proven to be great. He led the Toronto Raptors to their first win last year. But he can’t do it all. In Toronto he had a lot of support, Pascal Siakam comes to mind as one of the solid swing players that provided that grunt in the playoffs. Who is going to do that for the Clippers? Furthermore, oppositions would have studied Leonard at length and come playoffs, rest assured Leonard will be locked down. He needs help!
Lou Williams is too streaky
When Williams is “hot” is he is on fire. But when he is cold, it is sub zero. He needs to grab some sort of consistency to his game. Unfortunately with many streaky players, it comes and goes on how they feel, their instinct. Other players are able to work on their games and blend practice to game player. LeBron, Steph Curry and dare I say Luka Doncic, they can train and implement in practice. Williams needs to do this, to become the better player the Clippers need.
Clippers Odds Plummet
At the start of the season the Clippers were favorites to win the Championship. But they have now dropped behind the LA Lakers and Milwaukee , just by the slimmest of margins. If the Clippers continue to lose a few more games on the trot alarm bells will be ringing. Hold back on placing money on Clippers to win just yet. The odds may fall a little more to give you better returns.
It’s a close race this year and it will be an exciting finish to the season!