Pacific Notes: Clippers, Baynes, Rondo, Oubre

The Clippers have a ton of potential on the defensive end this season, something that could propel the team deep into the campaign, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times writes.

As written by Greif, the Clippers quickly became a “scary” team over the NBA’s first week, defeating the Lakers 112-102 and Warriors 141-122 without the likes of Paul George. The team has tremendous talent on both sides of the ball outside of George, including Kawhi Leonard, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley and others.

“We’re scary defensively,” Beverley said. “Very, very, very scary. … We just grind people down, grind people down. We come in waves.”

Los Angeles wound up losing in Phoenix on Saturday, but the team has yet to reach its full potential. With several newcomers getting acclimated and their second-best player still on the shelves, the Clippers are favored by many to eventually become the best team in the Western Conference.

One scenario that’s largely stayed off the radar for fans, however, is the possibility of adding Andre Iguodala from Memphis. League observers have privately wondered whether the Clippers could eventually swoop in to acquire Iguodala by trade or signing (should he get bought out), which would undeniably make them even more elite defensively.

There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • New Suns center Aron Baynes impressed in his first start with the team, filling in for the suspended Deandre Ayton against the Clippers on Saturday, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. Baynes finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes of action, helping Phoenix win an important game at home.
  • Lakers guard Rajon Rondo underwent a precautionary MRI that revealed a mild strain of his right calf, according to Mike Trudell of (Twitter link). He’ll miss the team’s game against Charlotte on Sunday and be listed as day-to-day.
  • Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. was fined $10K by the NBA this weekend for directing inappropriate language toward a game official, the league announced in a press release. The incident occurred after the Suns lost 108-107 to Denver in overtime Friday.
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