2 DAYS AGO, a Las Vegas sports book released the first over/under win totals for all NBA teams. There will be more to follow, but with every team’s roster basically set, it gives a realistic glimpse at how every team will perform this season. It features (unsurprisingly) Golden State at the very top with 62.5 and the Atlanta Hawks at the bottom with 23.5. The Los Angeles Clippers’ over/under is 35.5, which places the team at the 11th seed in the Western Conference, below the Portland Trailblazers and above the Dallas Mavericks and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Over, under, or just right?
Last season, the LA Clippers managed to put together a winning record despite leading the league with 30 different starting lineups due to an unlucky streak of injuries and a mid-season trade changed the course of the team for years to come. Taking all that we lost (namely Deandre Jordan and Austin Rivers) and all that we gained since then into consideration, it begs the question: are we a 35-win team?
The answer is no. One may argue that the level of competition has increased with Lebron James migrating to the West, but the Clippers have 2 things working in their favor: A winning philosophy in the organizational level, and depth. The Clippers’ mostly retained core, along with the rise of Tobias Harris and Montrezl Harrel, will be the key to staying competitive in the new dog eat dog Western Conference.
Vegas may be right in the Clippers missing the playoffs, but they will definitely win more than 35 games.
Photo: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press