It’s already 2023, so it’s time for some LA Clippers New Year resolutions. While there is a lot to like, there is a lot to address. Some might call the Clippers’ season so far a disappointment. Although they are very much in the mix for top seed, the gap could close sooner than later. The blame for their inconsistent start can be shared amongst the organization, coaches, or players. If this team is serious about winning the title, profound changes need to be made.
Clippers New Year Resolutions
Embrace the Wingstop lineup
As of late, the rotations being thrown onto the court by Ty Lue are coming under great scrutiny. Specifically, the lineups that contain three or more guards in lieu of more wings. When the Clippers assembled their team, their abundance of wings was deemed their greatest strength. However, there haven’t been the most rotations with such players all season. Attribute it to health, concealing game plans for the postseason or whatever. The team is in jeopardy of dropping more in the standings if they don’t take effective action.
In a preseason game, Lue rolled out a lineup of Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, and Marcus Morris. In the brief time they shared the court, the lineup wreaked havoc on defense with their length and switchability. This allowed them to blow up the opposing team’s actions and force isolation basketball. On offense, it was still a work in progress, but the potential was there. The shot-making of Morris, paired with the playmaking of Leonard and George and the connectivity of Batum and Covington, conceived a potential weapon for the team. However, this lineup has not shared the court once this season.
It is not just those five that can help. The addition of Terance Mann or Norman Powell would help the pace and downhill aggression that this team can use. With the team lacking a backup big, they are forced to go small by default. But we have mostly seen it paired with more guards than wings. Lue may be saving this lineup for later in the season or even the playoffs, but for now, he has to find a way to incorporate it or a variation.
It doesn’t matter that this is the fourth season in the 213 era. The lackluster starts to games and without have not left the team. Whether it be slow starts or giving up leads, the team needs to find a sense of urgency in order for it to stop dropping games. It can be attributed to the team’s lack of pace (John Wall and Mann aside) and their older(ish) age.
The team constantly finds itself struggling to generate great looks. While they do from three, they lack the paint scoring. It can start with more Ivica Zubac touches or Powell attacks to the rack. Even more Mann. But that does not excuse the lack of force they run sets with. They constantly find themselves in Jackson, trying to create out of pick and roll or a combination of tough George, Morris, and Leonard post-ups. Either way, those players are paid to make those plays, but straining them too much with them makes them predictable and strains their offensive attack.