Los Angeles, CA – Positive words and healthy bodies presented themselves in fresh jerseys at media day on Monday for the Los Angeles Clippers. While there is potential for the team to acquire an all-star via a trade, there weren’t many Jimmy Butler questions or remarks. Also, the other Los Angeles team wasn’t mentioned too much either. With LeBron James making his mark in the community, it was refreshing to hear most of the day being about defense and the rookies on the Clippers.
This team mentioned hanging their hat on defense and even Patrick Beverley referencing themselves as “Clamp City.” Beverley will be a huge key on the defensive end for the Clippers after missing last season with a knee injury. He’s known for being aggressive and scrappy to set the tone defensively.
Head Coach Doc Rivers made sure to mention that the leadership spot is possible for anyone and the competition begins Tuesday at training camp in Hawaii. Since falling short of the playoffs last year, Rivers said that this year is key because it’s the healthiest they have been and there’s also more flexibility. It has taken some time to change the culture of the program, but the Clippers do have some notable threats to take note of for this upcoming season.
One player in particular who will be a force will be Tobias Harris. Harris discussed how his offseason training focused on “playing low this season and expand [his] game driving left or right to the basket.”
Another huge threat the Clippers cannot hide is the scoring ability of Lou Williams. He pointed out that it’s his 14th season and last year he just had more minutes from the injuries the team experienced, so he took advantage of the time he had. Regardless if there are injuries or not, Williams has proven he can score with the best players in the league.
On top of key players ready to make strides on the court, Los Angeles already is building cohesion off the floor with team bonding activities. Rather it’s playing video games or hanging out to get to know each other, the chemistry was evident during media day as the players joked with one another.
Although Rivers stated the team has “1,000 guards,” the Clippers do have different types of guards to choose from. There are defensive minded guards in Beverly and Avery Bradley, a handful of point guards to handle the ball, or shooting guards like Williams and Sindarius Thornwell.
Everyone knows that health is the most important within a sport and the team is healthy and ready to do. The Clippers are very positive about the upcoming season and are ready for what is to come. Despite the roster not being finalized yet and rumors of Butler joining the team, the Clippers could surprise the Western Conference.
They might be the team to prove whether defense, in fact, wins championships.