Clippers fan James Warner assesses his team’s 2021-22 season and then takes a look at the 2022-23 campaign in Los Angeles.
Where did my love for the NBA and the Clippers come from…
My name is James Warner, I’m from Hertfordshire and I run ClippersUK on Twitter Where I talk about everything clippers. I have developed a strong community of Clipper fans in the UK and will be launching a podcast this year to cover the next season.
I was introduced to the NBA in 2012 when my cousin Blake Griffin showed me the highlights. It was then that I immediately fell in love with Lob City. The fact that the franchise was looking for its first title (and still is) made the decision easier. My first real experience as a Clippers fan was the 2015 playoffs, where I knocked out the current champion at the San Antonio Spurs and then proceeded to take a 3-1 lead over the Houston Rockets. Since then, it’s been a rollercoaster, from the trade away from Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to a solid rebuilding team with Lou Williams, Pat Biff and Montrezel Harrell. We are now in the best position to win our first title with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Still the Clippers curse was hard to shake with the crash against the Nuggets during bubble season as I was fortunate to be a virtual fan of one of the worst matches in Clippers history. Despite this, there is no other team that I would like to follow and I really hope the stars team up with the team this year.
my favorite player
It’s almost impossible for any Clipper fan not to say Kawhi Leonard. He is one of the top five players in the NBA in the past decade as well as being a strong offensive and defensive player who can protect anyone on the ground. He is one of the most influential two-way players of all time, a true mystery and legend in the game.
Score for last season: B +
The 2021/22 season was a rollercoaster for the Los Angeles Clippers. Coach Tai Lou kept the team competitive despite Kowhi Leonard’s absence from the season and Paul George playing 31 games. It was disappointing not to be in qualifying but to finish above 0.500 given our conditions was a great achievement. Health eventually cost the team, but role players such as Nicholas Batum put in an impressive performance as the group now prepares to reintegrate Kohei.
The feeling around the team has been so great all year long. The matches were really fun, we were able to surprise some teams and stage multiple wins. Last season put us really well in this year’s championship as everyone was convinced of Ty Lue’s vision and the way he wants to play.
offseason rating for clippers
The Clippers’ main talking point in the past few seasons has centered around the point guard position. We’ve added John Wall which probably has a lot to be optimistic about. He hasn’t played in a while, but he will go from being the number one in Houston to being a third or fourth place finisher. Nicholas Batum, also joined on a buyout deal, has benefited from reducing his responsibility and focusing on his strengths without the pressure of being seen as the number one or second player on the team. Wall’s ability to shoot, shoot, and playmaker makes him an instant win for clippers. If he buys culture and the opportunity to work with Kawhi, PG, and Ty Lue, there’s no reason why Wall can’t be successful with the team.
The Clippers also re-signed with Nicholas Batum, Ivica Zubak, Amir Covey and Robert Covington. The team was keen to ‘put things back together’ with the key players who helped them take part in the tournament last year. Outside of getting a point of protection in Jon Wall, there was a definite need to keep the group together. However, the Clippers lost a gem in Isaiah Hartenstein, who added a different dimension to the bench last year and deserved the starting minutes. Isaiah signed with the Knicks and left the team needing to fill the support center role.
Norman Powell and Robert Covington were acquired by the February trading deadline, adding to an already deep list. Powell was able to make just five matches with the team after sustaining an ankle injury. He averaged 21.4 points in those games. He played and won a title with Kohei in Toronto and has a close relationship with Paul George. Covington was revealing at both ends of the team last season, averaging 10.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 cuts and 1.3 steals, while shooting 45 percent of three. Both are convinced of the culture and will play big roles next season.
Overall, the Clippers achieved exactly what they wanted for this off-season, keeping the core group together to “re-ball” with Kohei and Paul George back in the fold. There are concerns about a backup position point as Hartenstein made a great cover, although Ty Lue also appears to prefer the “little ball” with Morris, Patom or Covington able to play fifth. The team has added young center Moses Brown to the bootcamp team in the hope that it will be a valuable find similar to what Hartenstein was last year.
Note points from the 2022 NBA Draft
The Clippers went to the draft with the 43rd pick. With little need for a “win now” player, the team went for the French big man – Moussa Diabatti. Clippers add another development player that is very subtle but has a high upside. Musa will find rare opportunities, but he hopes to follow the path of recent development successes such as Terence Mann and Amir Covey.
Clippers goals for next season
With the new season approaching, nothing has changed for the Clippers as they pursue their first NBA title. There’s another reason to be optimistic with our deepest slate ever with superstar duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Several analysts are already guiding us to be the best team in the West but that depends on the state of Kohhi as he looks to come back from a severe ACL injury.
The 2022/23 season presents a new opportunity for the Clippers to start another title charge, hoping we can at least make our NBA Finals debut. Championships aren’t won on paper, but there is a real sense that everything might be fine in time for the Clippers to go all out.
Three predictions for next season…
- The Clippers will appear in the NBA Finals
- We will also be the best defensive team in the NBA
- John Wall will win the 6th Man of the Year award
Why should people watch clippers?
The Clippers have one of the best star duos in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who are the deepest support team in the NBA and a championship coach in Tai Lou. They are one of the best 3-point shooting teams along with one of the best defensive teams. They’re almost guaranteed to be a top-ranked team next season in May, and they’ll be rocking some of them with a “never say death” mentality. If there’s ever been a season to follow the Clippers, it sure is the season.