Will the Clippers Keep on Clipping With Russell Westbrook on Board?

By no means am I insinuating that the Los Angeles Clippers are a mediocre organization despite all the playoff collapses they’ve had not only in the Kawhi Leonard era we stand in currently but also from the days when Chris Paul was slashing and diming off passes to a prime Blake Griffin and De’Andre Jordan formerly known as “Lob City”. So now newcomer Russell Westbrook has arrived on the Clippers and it’s said he couldn’t be more ecstatic to suit up for an organization where he’s actually welcomed and doesn’t have to resort to watching LeBron James and Anthony Davis begin every game while he’s on the sidelines wondering if he really has fallen off a cliff from being the top 10 player he was before being traded to the Lakers. So Tyronn Lue starts him in his debut as a Los Angeles Clipper and he scores 17 points and dies out 14 assists just for good measure; they ended up losing that game at home to a Sacramento Kings team which I’ve been waiting to finally come back down to earth; but it seems like they are actually serious about competing for once in well over 2 decades since Chris Webber was suiting up for them, that’s a very long time ago. So the question is does Russell Westbrook make the Clippers a more viable threat in the Western Conference?

Well the Reggie Jackson experiment ran it’s course, he carried them all of last season while Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were in street clothes for the most part, the season prior Kawhi Leonard being out robbed them of a chance to stop the Phoenix Suns from reaching their first NBA Finals apperance since 1993 and the season prior in The Bubble Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray humiliated them for the last 3 games in the semi-finals in a mind-blowing come back where for the first time I saw Kawhi Leonard actually worried for once despite him operating like an emotionless robot on the court all the time. Jerry West’s mastermind experiment with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George has not worked out as most expected it to, you’d think putting together two dynamic wings of that caliber should result in championships but the reality is we haven’t seen them build enough camaraderie together for enough time where they could gain enough momentum to make a serious playoff run. The way this season is going if Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can continue to string enough games together along with Russell Westbrook the rest of the way this Clippers team is going to be extremely hard to eliminate come playoff time.

I say that for 2 reasons, 1 because Tyronn Lue is the one calling the shots and 2 because the personnel on this team suits Russell Westbrook’s game. The Clippers have several shooters Russell Westbrook can work with in Terance Mann,Nicolas Batum,Paul George,Norman Powell,and newly acquired 3-point sniper Eric Gordon who can still get 25-30 points in his sleep with the right amount of minutes in coach Lue’s rotation. It’s no knock on Doc Rivers who’s having loads of success this season as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers behind a deep roster surrounding his stars James Harden and Joel Embiid but it was time for a new voice in Los Angeles and Doc was so 2010’s dating back to the Chris Paul era; asking him to manage so many different rotations with different egos which was a hefty task for him managing Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in Los Angeles was just too much. It’s still to be proven if Tyronn Lue can actually show his coaching credentials being that many feel he just tagged along for the ride in Cleveland with LeBron James but with a competitor of Kawhi Leonard’s caliber you’d be fooling yourself if your counting out Tyronn Lue to not at least coach this Clipper team to at least the semi-finals this season.

Forecasting the Western Conference with the new 3-headed monster of Russell Westbrook,Paul George,and Kawhi Leonard assuming all 3 are healthy I only see 3 teams having any chance against them in a 7-game series and that’s the Golden State Warriors,Phoenix Suns, and the Denver Nuggets. If the Los Angeles Lakers manage to crawl out of the quick-sand they are currently stuck in as they look to gain footing in the West they would also have enough to take out the Clippers but you catch my drift, the Clippers will be dangerous and they have enough fire-power and experience to make a run at the Larry O’ Brien trophy this June. What better way to stain LeBron James’s legacy than to watch someone who was labeled as a vampire,burden, and misfit on the Lakers become replenished goods on the Clippers? If I’m LeBron I’m crossing my fingers anyone but the Los Angeles Clippers becomes 2023 NBA Champions this season, he might never live this one down,Russell Westbrook finally capturing his first NBA title after leaving his side.

Will the Clippers be the last team standing in June? I wouldn’t count on it, I mean sure Russell Westbrook gives the Clippers a dynamic they’ve never really had in the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George era in Los Angeles. As good as Reggie Jackson’s resurgence was on the Clippers, he’s still that guard the Pistons shelled out a 5-year $130 million to tag team with then franchise center Andre Drummond and they both failed to live up to being the dominant duo Pistons fans were expecting. With the humbling experience Westbrook received on the Lakers you’d like to think he’s not going to all of a sudden abruptly put himself ahead of Leonard and George in the pecking order and return to his recurring stubborn way. The Clippers winning it all could actually hinge on Westbrook being the best version of Westbrook possible but knowing when to channel himself for the betterment of the team and that’s a tall task for head coach Tyronn Lue, a task no head coach till this day has been able to figure out.


Author: D-NBA

Hello, the name is Dionis and I've been an avid sports enthusiast ever since childhood. I studied at William Paterson University where I obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and have worked at several financial Institutions within the banking industry through my 20's. I've embarked on the entrepreneurial path in search of looking to impact as many lives as possible by providing value in a subject which has always been ingrained in me as a kid which is the NBA. I've followed the NBA passionately since I was old enough to pick up a Sega Genesis controller and pop in NBA Live 95. I hope to widen your interest in a game I've followed rigorously my entire life and plan on following till my time is up on this earth, thank you for visiting.

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