Clippers’ Uncertainty Can Still Paint Clear Pictures


The irony of the Los Angeles Clippers being tied for the most back-to-back games this year perfectly outlines the uncertainty around this team.

The Clippers don’t know who’s playing every night, so how are we supposed to know where they’ll finish?

The only thing left to do is conduct a three-point estimation.


Clippers finish in a play-in spot again, resulting in their whole season coming down to one or two games. But even if they win, they will match up against one of the victors of the Western Conference dogfight.

John Wall continues to be in and out of the lineup, leading to him and Reggie Jackson continuing to struggle in their inconsistent roles. This highlights the team’s lack of a “set-the-table point guard.”

Kawhi Leonard only plays around 30 games and is not showing signs he can lead an elite playoff offense. This affects the whole team as the Clips’ hierarchy is not able to return to normal. In addition, it forces players to take on responsibility outside their role’s scope.

In turn, for saying, “Kawhi is number one and I’m number two” Paul George is punished by the basketball gods by being the No. 1 option for the entire year. While being tasked with this increased workload, he is hit with unlucky injuries limiting his total games.

That last part may sound like a farfetched nightmare when seeing it all written out but this is the fate the Clippers suffered last year.

Then again, how likely is it that the same shit can happen to the same guy twice?


The Clips finish in the four-to-six seed range, putting them out of the play in. However, they must go through two solid teams to get to the Western Conference Finals.

Kawhi plays around 45 games and shows flashes of his previous offensive excellence. This somewhat re-establishes the team’s hierarchy as there is a clear one and two option on the team but PG and Kawhi move within that range on a game-to-game basis.

This is key for role players like Jackson and Marcus Morris, who spent a lot of last season as the top scoring options. The role players are now set up for success in their clearly defined roles.

PG13 continues his excellent play and his unique ability to play a supportive role when Kawhi is on and take over when Kawhi is struggling/out of the lineup.

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One of Wall or Jackson emerges as the better option for point guard, with the other taking a back seat. While there is a world where both guards can play well, they have limited time sharing the floor together and playing two point guards goes against the Clippers’ identity. This identity consists of wings with the ability to switch everything.

Ivica Zubac continues to be a, force on both ends of the floor allowing the Clippers to have a great option to go big— especially if they run into back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic again. Last time around in the bubble when the Clippers shamefully choked against the Nuggets, Zubac was not the player he is today.


The Clippers finish as a top-three seed in the West, giving them an easier pathway to the Finals.

Kawhi plays around 55 games and has returned to 80-90% of his pre-injury self and is able to be the number one option night in and night out. This leads to the team hierarchy being clearly established, no more wondering where the scoring will come from that night.

The greatest benefactor will be Paul George. George is the No. 2 option for the first time since the 2021 regular season, doing the job he was brought here to do.

Jackson and Wall both perform well and when one struggles the other is able to step in and play well. Another overlap with the most likely case scenario is Zubac’s elite play this season.

A perfect visualization of the best-case Clippers team is in their December 12th Game against the Boston Celtics. A game where PG and Kawhi combined for 51 points and they held Jayson Tatum to 20 points on 35% shooting.

The Clippers where able to stymie Tatum’s offense by limiting his attempts at the rim, forcing low-quality pull-up shots from the outside. Even when Tatum did get to the rim, the Clips used their lengthy roster to their advantage to disturb him.

Kawhi finished the night with 25 points on 83% shooting. He faced a myriad of Celtics defenders but it did not make a difference. He sized up weaker defenders and got to his spots in the midrange. When facing reigning DPOY Marcus Smart, Kawhi was able to back him down and shoot his patented mid range fade over top of Smart. Truly a classic Kawhi performance.

If everything breaks right for the Clippers, they certainly have a shot at making their first-ever NBA Finals.

About Josh Douglas

Josh is a fan of shot creators, big guys that play like guards, and on-court accessories. He is an avid supporter of all things Clippers and 76ers. Josh writes about the L.A. Clippers.

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