Los Angeles Clippers

Vegas Over/Under: 43.5

The Record Projection: 42-40 of fromal The Bet: Avoid but lean under
How you feel about this over/under likely depends on one key question: Just how simple is replacement Chris Paul?
The Los Angeles Clippers did a great job reloading after learning that Paul wanted a death to the Houston Rockets. Not only did they figure out how to pry some assets from his new home in a trade after he opted in, but they also convinced Blake Griffin into re-sign before adding Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic into the fold.
This is a gifted roster with ability and upside at pretty much every position. It’s far deeper than it’s been in previous years, though head coach Doc Rivers certainly didn’t wish to acquire depth at the expense of his team’s best player.
And that is the enduring issue.
Paul was not only the engine which made the Clippers run; he basically was that the Clippers.
Patrick Beverley and Teodosic should be strong replacements in the 1, but they can not replicate his ability to run the offense perfectly.
Whether Paul was calling his own number or setting up teammates, he commanded the flow of the game as well as anyone. It is the reason LAC was a shocking 19.6 points per 100 possessions better with him around the floor in 2016-17, in addition to the reason that he finished No. 2 overall in ESPN.com’s real plus/minus, behind only LeBron James.
His job can’t be replicated.

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