Clippers Shine in Summer League Debut

BJ Boston of LA Clippers

Clipper basketball is finally back. And they wasted no time in impressing their excited fanbase. Seeing young Clippers shine in their 2022 Summer League debut was a sight. Multiple young pieces showed their worth in their 94-76 thrashing of the Memphis Grizzlies. Second-year guard Brandon Boston impressed with 15 points, including many stepback jumpers. Jason Preston had a solid floor game as the starting point guard. Finally, rookie Moussa Diabate displayed his high motor and activity, giving the opposing bigs fits while he outworked them. It is only the first game, but this team has given the fans and front office plenty of reason to be excited.

Clippers Shine in Summer League Debut

While it is just summer league, seeing the young pieces that the Clippers drafted play well is definitely a cause for celebration. Boston, who has never lacked confidence, was second on the team in scoring on an efficient 50% shooting. It was evident early on that he would be in attack mode (when is he ever not?) when he got to the free-throw line only seven seconds into the game. What was most impressive about Boston’s efficiency, is that he took tough shots. Two of his threes were stepbacks and one of his mid-range jumpers was a Dirk Nowitski one-legged stepback. Players noticeably have more confidence in their second year, and Boston was no different.

Preston, on the other hand, had an impressive outing. Though he is not the scoring punch that Boston is, he showed his playmaking skills and floor general ability. At 6″4, being a point guard is a little easier as he can see over the defense and court better. I was most impressed with his patience in the pick and roll and the skip passes he would make when reading the help side defense. Additionally, he hit one three but his jumper looks a lot more in rhythm and smooth compared to last season. He also showed some touch with his floater, a weapon that every point guard needs. There were murmurs that Preston could have been in competition for the backup point guard spot. But with the acquisition of John Wall, he will likely be the third option, barring any injury.

Finally, Diabate showed exactly why the Clippers drafted him. The 6″10 big man was all over the court. Not sure which was more astonishing, his spin move on the baseline or the fact that six of his seven rebounds were offensive. Either way, Diabate definitely has potential, and the Clippers see it. He is also mobile on the wing, which will help in Ty Lue’s switchable defensive schemes. He also has shown some jump hooks, which every big man should have. Once he adds weight, he will be a serious part of the Clippers’ future as their backup or potentially starting center.

It should not go unnoticed that other Clippers contributed to their big victory, apart from the three main young guys. Xavier Moon, who played with the Clippers on a couple of 10-day contracts, showed speed and burst that broke down defenses. Reggie Perry led the team with 17 points and Jarrell Brantley displayed his three-point touch and added 13 points. The team collectively looked active and engaged on defense, credit head coach Shaun Fein for having them ready to compete and play together.

It’s only Summer League, but there’s still plenty to be excited about. The team also announced that they signed Moses Brown, Jay Scrubb, and Moon to their training camp roster. Brown is a tall, young big who has bounced around a bit. But the Clippers still have a void at that backup center position, so gambling on Brown and seeing what he can do in training camp is a low-risk move. Hopefully, the Clippers can build upon this win and keep developing their young guys and build momentum towards training camp.