Clippers Championship Hopes Derailed by Coronavirus
April 2, 2020
The Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) made all of the right moves last summer. They signed two super star players, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to go along with a solid roster that included Patrick Beverly, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams.
During the season they added forward Marcus Morris and guard Reggie Jackson. All the pieces to the championship puzzle were put together by a studious front office led by Lawrence Frank, President of Basketball Operations and former NBA great Jerry West who is a special adviser to the Clippers.
During the season Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was monitoring Leonard's minutes so he would be ready for the playoffs and George appeared to be heathy after suffering a hamstring injury. All signs pointed to a championship run with their only major challenge would have been against their roommates at Staples Center, the Lakers.
The Clippers were one of the deepest teams in the NBA and they had key players at every position except for the man in the middle, the center position. Although their starting center, 7'0" Ivica Zubac has improved over the past few seasons, the Lakers had 7'0" JaVale McGee, 6'10" Anthony Davis and 6'10" Dwight Howard to battle Zubac in the middle.
The Clippers had three players on their roster that are 6'7", five players at 6'8" and one player at 6'9" but only one seven footer. Zubac would have to play the best basketball of is life against the Lakers if they wanted to reach the NBA Finals.
If the Clippers and Lakers met in the Western Conference Finals the Lakers would probably attack the middle but it looks like we will have to wait until next season to find out the outcome of this highly anticipated match up.
Of course this is all speculation. There are several other teams in the Western Conference that would challenge the theory that the Lakers and Clippers would have met in the conference finals. Houston and Denver are two teams that have the players that could upset the two Los Angeles teams in a seven game series.