We can almost hear the basketball fun train approaching the station.
The 2019/2020 season cannot come soon enough and it’s the time when big aspirations need to come to fruition. Fans already have their hands full speculating what’s in store for revamped LA Clippers team.
Well, with stunning success in free agency and trade, the lineup seems rock-solid. Leonard and George are poised to propel the star-studded cast toward title contender territory.
Bookmakers were quick to reset NBA championship odds and Clippers are listed 3-1. How suddenly the tables have turned— back in May, their odds were 14-1!
So, the title dreams are no longer reserved for fabled neighbors, the Lakers franchise. There are two powerhouses in the city now.
From Underdogs to Leaders of the Pack
It has been a crazy offseason for NBA and gambling fans.
Judging by preseason odds, the next rodeo will be one of the most competitive in a decade. And that’s after some seismic roster shifts and bombs going off in the trade market.
Clippers undoubtedly emerged as big summer winners. And make no mistake: this success was for several years in the making.
After serving as a laughing stock, the team has earned respect in the Griffin-CP3-Jordan era. It has also established its own culture and identity.
Yes, some hard-to-swallow decisions dismayed fans and not all experiments worked out. But, it already seems like distant past when the LA team traded away their biggest stars in back-to-back seasons.
In fact, these moves make more sense than they did just months ago. This is because the team looks stronger than ever.
Major new signings come around to complete the transformation of the franchise. There’s plenty of reasons to head to Staples Center and witness the glory.
Reshuffling the Deck
For food measure, let’s examine what exactly happened with the roster.
First off, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler have left, alongside a record number of draft picks. This was all part of an epic trade deal.
It was clear Clippers had to go all in and we think the risk paid off. The club secured all-stars Paul George, who was persuaded by Kawhi Leonard’s acquisition.
Both newcomers, alongside resigned Ivica Zubac, seem like options for the long-term. Together, they should be a game-changer for Clippers offensively and defensively.
If Zubac isn’t exactly a top-tier defender, George and Leonard are elite players in this area. They never give up on plays and are able to put multiple positions on lockdown. On paper, this makes Clippers one of the best defensive teams in the league.
Of course, supporting cast will be crucial in title ambitions.
There are at least 10 guys who can really play. Beverly and Shamet are exceptional catch-and-shoot three-pointers. Two superstars are adept shooters behind the arch as well.
And that isn’t all because Clippers have versatility: they can deploy a barrage from other cannons too. For instance, Williams and Harrell are known to kill opponents with pick and roll combinations.
Leonard will have the ball in most make-or-break match moments. We all know how this tends to end up for the opposing teams. And with smart load management, he will also have moments to rest and recuperate.
Aces up the Sleeve
So, rest assured coach Doc Rivers has enough to work with as it is.
He will be able to roll out several strong lineups and run at least eight-man rotation. Considering his tactical mastery, he will surely experiment to figure out what works.
That being said, we expect Leonard, George, and Williams to play together as much as possible. In such a lineup, Williams would probably be a point guard.
Beverly will be ready to step in and spit fire at any time. Williams, as reigning sixth-man of the year, can swing the momentum of a game as well. So, how about that: a top-notch defensive team that can shoot incredibly well?
To be fair, some experts point out to the fact there are still a few holes that need plugging.
Andre Igoudala has been mentioned as a potential target. We can see giving his substantial contribution to the Clippers’ cause. Yet, after bold maneuvers, Clippers aren’t hard-pressed to scour the trade market.
With the return of a free agent JaMychal Green, perhaps Rivers thinks he has enough depth down low. We’ll have to wait and see.
When NBA Championships Odds Turn Sweet
Taking all this into account, it comes as little surprise the Clippers are favorites (3-1) to win it all.
Their championship odds surpass those of Lakers, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia. Others are giving both teams from LA equal chances and we can somewhat see why.
Lakers have also made major adjustments in the roaster. They have a slightly stronger duo in Davis-James. But, across the board, we still have Clippers winning by a good margin.
Of course, we should admit league is much bigger than the cityscape of angels.
There are eight other teams with a minimum of 15-1 chance to win. Interestingly enough, all these teams sport better odds than Toronto did last season.
Moreover, six of these eight teams are from the Western Conference. They might have something to say about Clipper having a comfortable walk to the NBA finals.
The playing field is more leveled than before and competitive balance in the league strong.
The point remains, however, Clippers will be a tough nut to crack for any team in the NBA. We would be surprised if they don’t make a deep playoff run at the very least. Coming short of that goal should be seen as a profoundly disappointing campaign.
Clippers are Sitting in a Pole Position
After a tremendous offseason, Clippers are clear betting favorites.
They definitely have a good shot at the title and should be able to dominate the Western Conference.
An updated roster is home to two superstars that should fit right in. And it’s not like they will have to do all the heavy lifting. Rivers will have room to arrange and reorganize the team as he sees fit.
With all-around talent and rich experience, the Clippers can give hell to anyone on both sides of the court. Shooting, energy, and defensive potential are three keys to victory in our opinion.
You can think of this team as a many-headed hydra ready to slay even the most stalwart of adversaries. Its fans should really favor their NBA championship odds. We know we do.
So, it’s time to buckle up because the wild ride starts soon. Check out our sports tickets section to secure your place at the fore.