NBA Power Rankings #21: Los Angeles Clippers
photo via flikr
The Los Angeles Clippers are back to being the worst of L.A.'s two NBA franchises. With LeBron James dawning the purple and gold and Lob City officially over with the departure of Deandre Jordan, the Clippers are back on the bottom.
The Clippers are coming off of a 42-40 season that was good for tenth in the Western Conference. The roster moves made this off-season point to a decrease in wins for the Clippers this year and will most likely be looking at the other side of the .500 mark. Effectively swapping Deandre Jordan for Marcin Gortat, adding no star in free agency, and (as of now) have yet to make a big trade to improve the roster. The one upside of this season for the Clippers is that they were able to grab two lottery picks in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Shai Gilegeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson are joining the squad as the eleventh and thirteenth picks in this year's draft class. Both players will be fighting for minutes in a clogged back court and may not get the same amount of playtime as other lottery picks entering the league. The Clippers have been adamant about still pushing for a playoff spot as opposed to rebuilding. If these two struggle to find their way in the league, it's safe to assume that head coach Doc Rivers will have a short leash with the two young guards.
It seems like there are twelve teams in the West that believe they can make the playoffs, and the Clippers are one of them. Unfortunately, there are only eight spots and some teams will be on the wrong end of that cut off. Everything will have to go right for the Clippers this season, and it certainly wouldn't hurt for Jimmy Butler to make his way over, but if your Los Angeles you can't but your faith in a player that isn't on you team right now. Only time will tell if Los Angeles has enough to fight their way through a fierce Western Conference.