In some regards, the 2021-22 season was a rebuilding year for the Clippers. The franchise was without its two main stars for the bulk of the season with Kawhi Leonard unable to suit up at all. The team still had some relative success and ended with a 42-40 record which put them in the 8th seed in the West. A positive Covid test from Paul George held him out of the play-in game and they were unable to advance past the Pelicans.
For the most part, the biggest move of the offseason was allowing the roster to heal. Expectations are certainly higher this season with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard set to return to the court for a full season. The franchise also made news by adding John Wall this offseason. There are still a few months before the season is set to tip off but here are some early expectations for the Clippers in 2022-23.
Kawhi Leonard looking jacked
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) August 2, 2022
3 way too early bold LA Clippers predictions for 2022-23 NBA season
Brandon Boston becomes a legitimate bench weapon
It has been an interesting start to the professional career of BJ Boston. He was ranked the 7th overall prospect by ESPN in the 2020 high school recruiting class and committed to Kentucky for his lone year of college. Boston did not reach his lofty expectations at Kentucky and averaged 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. He also shot just 35,5% from the field and 30% on three-point attempts. This led to Boston falling to the second round where he was selected with the 51st overall pick.
The 20-year-old had some intriguing flashes in his rookie season but still has to fully put the pieces together. Expect him to improve off his limited minutes and become a key part of the second unit. During the 2021-22 season, Boston averaged 6.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in his 14.9 minutes per game. If Boston can improve his efficiency he could grow into a key rotational piece for Los Angeles. Look for him to take some strides forward this season and make a more notable impact.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George average 50+ points per game
There is a real argument that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are the best duo in the entire NBA. While the lack of games played last season may have resulted in people forgetting, expect the two to send a reminder of just how talented they are this season. Both Leonard and PG are top 20 talents across the league and impressive two-way players. The Clippers’ ceiling as a team will be drastically dependent on their ability to produce and the two should be related on to deliver.
Over the two seasons he spent with the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard has averaged 26 points per game. Paul George has averaged 22.9 points per game during his three seasons in Los Angeles and raked up 24.3 points per game last year. While the Clippers have some scoring threats behind them as well, the offense will certainly be made to capiliaze on their skillsets. Expect the two to produce at a high-level this season and average a combined 50+ points per game.
Clippers win the championship
If last season was the rebuilding year this should be the one where everything comes together. The Los Angeles Clippers check just about every box you look for in a playoff contender and will be expected to be major title contenders. They are have the fourth shortest odds to win a title next year on FanDuel as an indication of this. The Clippers have the top-end talent, well-fitting role players, and an impressive coach at the helm.
There is a great deal of uncertainty based on the lack of games that many of the players on the Clippers roster have played in recent years. Kawhi Leonard obviously missed all of last season. John Wall sat out all of the last season and has played just 113 games since the start of the 2017-18 season. Paul George played in just 31 games last season and has not played over 55 games in a season since 2018-19. Regardless, each of these guys has such a high-level of top-end talent that the rest of the league should be put on notice.
Expect the Clippers to go through some growing pains early on in the season but to find their stride. Led by Kawhi Leonard they have a group of guys with previous playoff success that are capable of winning. There are a number of intriguing contenders in the NBA this season, but the Clippers deserve to be right at the top of the list of title threats.