Vegas Over/Under: 43.5
Fromal’s Record Projection: 42-40 The Bet: lean although Avoid under
How you feel about this over/under probably depends on one key question: Just how simple is replacement Chris Paul?
The Los Angeles Clippers did a fantastic job reloading after learning that Paul wanted a death to the Houston Rockets. Not only did they figure out how to pry some assets away from his new home in a transaction after he chosen in, however they also convinced Blake Griffin to re-sign before incorporating Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic into the fold.
This is a talented roster with upside and ability at pretty much every position. It is far deeper than it has been in previous years, though head coach Doc Rivers surely didn’t wish to obtain depth at the cost of his team’s best player.
And that is the problem.
Paul was not only the engine which made the Clippers operate; he essentially was the Clippers.
Patrick Beverley and Teodosic should be strong replacements at the 1, but they can not replicate his ability to run the offense perfectly.
Whether Paul was calling his own band or setting up teammates, he controlled the flow of the game in addition to anyone. It’s why LAC was a staggering 19.6 points per 100 possessions better with him around the ground in 2016-17, as well as the reason he finished No. 2 overall in ESPN.com’s real plus/minus, behind just LeBron James.
His job can not be replicated.
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