Community Shootaround: Clippers’ 2017/18 Outlook

As recently as mid-December, many NBA observers were preparing obituaries for the Clippers’ 2017/18 season and proposing trade scenarios involving potential 2018 free agent DeAndre Jordan. Within the last two weeks though, the Clips have dug themselves out of an early-season hole, winning six of seven contests and pulling to within a game of a playoff spot in the West.

The Clippers’ recent success can be attributed at least partially to improving health. Noteworthy offseason acquisition Danilo Gallinari remains on the shelf, but Blake Griffin is back in the lineup, as is first-year point guard Milos Teodosic. While Teodosic’s numbers (8.9 PPG, 5.3 APG, .343/.310/.786 shooting line) are modest, L.A. seems to be a better team when he’s in the rotation — the club is 9-3 when Teodosic plays, and just 8-16 when he doesn’t.

Lou Williams, acquired in June’s blockbuster Chris Paul trade, has also been a key part of the Clippers’ latest winning streak. Since the start of December, Williams has been one of the NBA’s top scorers, pouring in 25.7 PPG and chipping in 5.8 APG.

The new-look Clippers are playing like the team that many fans and experts envisioned heading into the season, one that was expected to compete for a back-end playoff spot in the Western Conference. Still, while the Clips are getting closer to the top eight in the West, they’re still just 17-19 overall, and they’ve been streaky all season — another string of losses before next month’s deadline could once again alter the team’s short-term outlook.

How do you expect the rest of the Clippers’ 2017/18 season to play out? Will they continue to play well and move into playoff position? Will they slip in the standings and seriously entertain the idea of moving Jordan before the trade deadline? Or will they ultimately hang right around where they are now, not quite good enough to make the playoffs, but not quite bad enough to become trade-deadline sellers?

Jump into the comment section below to share your thoughts!

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5 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Clippers’ 2017/18 Outlook

  1. Connorsoxfan

    Their success is probably dependent on Gallo’s health. They’ll lose to GSW, HOU, or SA in the first round so it probably doesn’t make a huge difference for them either way. They’ll be in the bottom 3 seeds, facing one of those teams, and this isn’t one of those young, exciting, sneaky upset picks. This is a team who you can expect to get to the playoffs, but not to make any noise.

  2. Tramore

    Injuries will continue to weigh them down, and they’ll be a high lottery pick.

  3. Hen1CHC

    I’m amazed teams don’t line up to sign or actively engage in trade talks for Lou Williams, electric scorer and elite 6th man

  4. Thomas Swanson

    I’ve read that teams expect DeAndre Jordan to opt in on his contract because he knows he can’t get a max deal again. I like Williams too. He’s always been a reliable scorer off the bench.

  5. Chris Nickolaou

    As a clippers fan what I’m about to say might be a tad biased but I think it’s worth saying. I don’t think people should count out the clippers in the playoffs IF they stay healthy, Everyone said they weren’t gonna beat GSW in 13, and everyone thought we weren’t gonna beat SAS. This season I don’t think it’s possible to say any team is unbeatable, each of the top teams including GSW, Houston, Cleveland, Boston and SAS have all shown weakness and can be beaten unlike previous years, I mean a banged up cavs team beat the warriors who won 73 games. With that being said I think the clippers biggest issue besides health is defense, they have shown this year that they win games with defense and if they rely on trying to straight out score the other team it doesn’t work, so if the end up with a bottom 3 seed they will need to be elite defensively. So my prediction is they snag a 8th or 7th seed

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