This new look Los Angeles Clippers team finished preseason undefeated and is ready for regular season to begin.
The Los Angeles Clippers ended their preseason with a win over Israel’s Maccabi Haifa 124-78 making them undefeated 5-0 going into the start of the regular season next week.
This is a Clipper team that looks totally different from years’ past and they were one of the only undefeated teams in this season’s preseason action. Being undefeated for this Los Angeles team is a huge confidence and chemistry builder for a team with a lot of new faces mixed in with players who were sidelined last season, traded midway through the season, drafted and undrafted rookies, and offseason moves that transpired.
Even with all of the shuffling of players that has happened over these past few months, this group of players on this Clippers team found their stride prior to opening week.
The rookies came to play. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, 11th pick, played his way into a spot in the Clippers’ rotation. He averaged 9.2 points on 47.5 field goal percentage, 2.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists while providing a spark off the bench.
Gilgeous-Alexander has been a sight to see spanning all the way from his time at Kentucky to summer league to preseason.
Jerome Robinson, 13th pick, got some playing time and averaged 6.4 points in the five preseason games. When the Clippers drafted Robinson, they saw him as a potentially good scorer in the league.
He held back a bit early in preseason with his shot selection but once he got more comfortable, he started to show signs that he could be a worthy scorer by being more aggressive when it came to his shots.
The duo that has taken Los Angeles Clippers fans by storm in the offseason has not disappointed during preseason play. Boban Marjanović and Tobias Harris arrived in Los Angeles last season in the Blake Griffin trade and have seamlessly fit into this team.
Marjanović had a good preseason run posted 10.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks while averaging 8.7 minutes per game. Marjanović also showed off his 7’8” wingspan on various defensive possessions in the preseason. His play was productive in the minutes he had in the games.
He brings an energy that impacts his teammates on and off the court. On the court, he will shake up the momentum on the floor on offense and more.
Harris, Marjanović’s other half, averaged 17.5 points on a 52.1 field goal percentage, 6.8 rebounds, and three assists. Harris has been playing both the 3 and 4 along with Danilo Gallinari, who is back healthy from hand and glute injuries that kept him sidelined for 61 games last season.
Harris has been a consistent player for the Clippers in his preseason appearances. In three games that Harris played, he averaged a team-high of 20.3 points. We know what to expect with Harris come regular season so it will be good to see him leading this Clippers team whether it’s on or off the court.
Gallinari averaged 19 points in his early three games of the preseason. Gallinari was a huge signing for the Clippers prior to last season and they got only a small bit of what he brings to the team in only 21 games. He’s back healthy and performed up to par in his appearances during the preseason.
The Clippers were plagued with injuries last season with Gallinari, Patrick Beverley and Milos Teodosic, and many more players. They even had an NBA-high 37 starting lineups as eight starting players were hurt throughout the season.
Hopefully this year, that does not happen again.
Luc Mbah a Moute (calf) only saw 16 minutes of preseason action in the Clippers’ opener against the Sydney Kings and posted five points, three rebounds, and two steals. Teodosic (hamstring) finally made his preseason debut against the Denver Nuggets and logged 15 minutes of play.
Both Mbah a Moute and Teodosic’s injuries were the only ailments that the Clippers had to deal with but with them sitting and rehabbing back to full strength, the Clippers could start their season with better health and good shape.
With better health and a good preseason showing, the Clippers will open their season against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, October 17th.