Caden: Disclaimer Clips Nation, I'm applying the Hemmingway approach to writing this week's Clip Chat. My tonsils viciously were taken from me, just like DeAndre was swindled away from the Mavs -- one day I though I had them, the next, I did not. Thus, I am currently writing under the influence and relying on Larson to edit sober.
Larson: Definitely sober. Enough.
Caden: Larson, you know of my gambling problem. Gambling is hard with student loans as the only source of income, but to make money you have to spend money! Fantasy sports are the easiest, but the moment I get a career will coincidentally also be the day I get a bookie. Gambling just makes sports more interesting! It's a fact. Adam Silver's stance on gambling is very progressive compared to other professional sports commissioners, but it's also the most realistic. It's a billion dollar industry, and my dollars are integral to it.
Larson: It seems like leading up to every season there are always different features on gambling on the NBA. Bill Simmon's famously has his over/under podcast for team wins, and different people always want to give their hot takes on the best value bets for the championship or MVP. We love gambling, but wanted didn't want to be like everyone else, so we made a couple of our own unique Clipper Prop Bets for the coming season to wager on, if only between ourselves (even though Caden still owes me money).
J.J. Redick Over/Under 200 made 3 pointers
Caden: Over. Last year J.J. hit 200 on the nose, a career high for him and the most ever by a Clipper. Redick had two different seasons last year, pre and post All-Star break. I'd put money on his post All-Star break being closer to the norm, even if last night resembled pre All-Star J.J. After the break, in 28 games played, the Dukie averaged 5 more minutes, 4 more shots, and 1 more three pointer per game compared to his pre All-Star splits. He was the Clippers' human torch; the more involved he was the better the Clippers' offense looked. Blake and Chris will be less dominant offensively and look for J.J. to feed on the scraps. I wouldn't be surprised for him to end up around 215-220 three pointers made for the season. That's high, but I think statistically Redick will be the second best shooter in the league this year, behind only Steph with Korver and Klay taking steps back.
Larson: Over. Let me play devil's advocate for a second. There were only 4 players in the whole league to hit this over last year, that's how difficult it is. J.J. could be looking at playing less minutes as Doc tries to adjust to have actual NBA players on his bench. Plus, the league has seen the Clippers' sets another year now and will game plan for J.J.; it looked like last night Redick had a much harder time creating his usual separation with off ball movement against the Kings. All of those things could go against Redick, but I'm still going over. Every year the league and the Clippers break their previous records for the amount of 3s taken, and I think that trend will continue. With better players, Redick will hopefully get better looks and resemble his post All-Star break self throughout the season. Plus, J.J. is the Clippers' only real marksman, so look for him to always be their three point catalyst.
Chris Paul Over/Under 75 Games Played
Caden: Under. In his 10 year career, Paul has only played more than 75 games four times, including playing all 82 last year. His career trend points to this not being very likely, and playing less games is probably better in the long run for Paul's health. GM Doc's knows that the most important thing is to keep Paul healthy for the playoffs, and for a player with a history of nagging injuries, I think he will sit him at different times, like on back to backs.
Larson: Over. I think it works just the opposite. Paul has gotten stronger as he's gotten older, and him playing every game last season is a result of how his game has developed. By losing a lot of his former athleticism and playing more of an old-man game with more pull-ups and less drives to the basket, I think the wear and tear on his body and exposure to injury lessens. Plus, GM Doc has brought in both Doogie and the crafty Pablo Prigioni in order to help reduce Paul's minutes this season, which all signs points to having a plus effect on a player's health. Also, I don't think Paul is at Paul Pierce's level yet where he needs to sit SEGABABA, and the West is so tough the Clippers will always be jockeying for playoff seeding, not allowing him to rest.
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul Over/Under 36 Minutes/Game
Larson: Under. This touches a little bit on what we were saying regarding Paul's health in the last bet: the bench is going to be so important. If the Suicide Squad can learn how to play together and harness all of their talent, the Clippers will go 10/11 deep. That should mean that the bench is entrusted to hold leads that the starters create, as well as close out games in the fourth quarter. Last night the bench did a shaky job to start the fourth losing the lead, and Doc had to bring back his two All-Stars to right the ship. But even then, Blake and Chris only played 38 and 37 minutes respectively. I think Doc knows it's all about the postseason for this team now, and will try to take a more Spursian minutes approach this season.
Caden: Under. It's actually going to be a more Warriors like minutes distribution this season. Last year Golden State was 10 deep, and that allowed them to never have to give over-extended minutes to their stars. Steph Curry averaged 32 minutes a game, Klay 32 minutes, and Draymond 31.5 minutes. That's the kind of impact I'd like to see from Paul and Griffin this year. Being fresh and healthy for the playoffs is what matters the most. If those two do end up going over 36 minutes, then that means there's something disastrous happening within the bench ecosystem.
Clippers Over/Under 58.5 Wins
Larson: Over. Barely. I set this win over/under at what I think is a closer projection to what I expect from the Clippers this season, rather than the 56 or so Vegas gave them. Every year for the past three seasons the Clippers have underperformed according to their expected win-loss record by pythatgorean wins. Twice this team should've already been a 60 win team, but big injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in respective seasons have hurt them. I think this is the year the team finally puts it together. While the West is truly a gauntlet, I think having an actual bench is good for about 3 extra wins. I think they win about 59/60 games, and just barely beat this out. Call me a homer whatever.
Caden. UNDER! Yes, the roster has improved. Yes, another year of continuity is always a plus. But the West got a whole crapload better. The West's floor has risen with bottom dwellers like the Kings, Lakers, and Timberwolves all improving through the draft and free agency. While the Blazers and Mavs regressed, they still aren't easy wins; heck both won their first games against possible playoff teams. Then look at how the cream of the West has risen. OKC added a presumably better coach and a healthy Durant, the Spurs have LaMarcus and West, the Warriors added championship swagger, the Rockets were gift-wrapped Ty Lawson (due to sad circumstances). Where are the extra three wins for coming for the Clippers from last year? It just won't happen.
Larson: It's crazy to me that the if you told me any of the West's top 5 teams were going to win above 60 wins this season I'd believe it. That's just how talented all of these teams are. I just happen to think the clippers will/can be one of those teams. The extra wins will come against the East, having a bench, and hopefully being healthier.
Clippers Over/Under 55 Technical Fouls
Caden. Over. Hopefully. Last year's technicals spawned from insecurity, the players and team just not very sure of themselves. Now, the Clippers are who they are. Once you beat the Spurs, you think you can beat anybody. The next step to the Clippers' evolution is to accept being the most hated team in the league. Embrace it. Use it. Pierce is a winner but somehow annoys almost every generation. Everybody hates Chris. And Blake. And Lance. DeAndre's reputation may be at an all-time low. Everybody hates a Blue Devil, even the most handsome ones. Come on Clips, let's see some altercations! The league's charmin soft these days, and this team needs to be ten-ply in personality. It may take a few technicals to get there, but it won't hurt the end goal.
Larson: Over. I actually agree with you, though you left out one of the Clippers' greatest complainers and technical earners: Coach Doc. He seems to throw his hands over his head in exasperation like 8 times a game when talking to the refs. And he's guaranteed to have Marc Davis or Tony Brothers ref his games at some point this season, so that means at least a couple technicals, probably a lot for the rest of the players too. I'm with you on the technicals. I know it's bad to give away free points, but I like establishing an Eff You attitude with this team. I want them to piss off everyone else and know they're doing it, making them have to win to back up their talk. Though this could all come back to haunt me. It honestly seemed like the Clippers missed calls last years because the refs just didn't like them, especially after the whole Chris Paul Holtkamp fiasco. But screw em. We just need to be so good it doesn't matter.
Over/Under 5 "Bad Lance Stephenson" Possessions a Game
Caden: Under. Bad possession is so subjective. Personally, a "Bad Lance" possession isn't simply a turnover. It's a possession where Lance gets the ball in an okay attacking position, then works himself into a worse spot, wasting numerous dribbles to get there. But that's not where it ends, it's only the set-up to the bad possession. In your head the little voice is saying "pass it Lance", but your subconscious knows he'll continue dribbling. Now he's sizing up his man, usually with an awkward, high-and-tight crossover. When happens next is up to Lance, but "Bad Lance" usually ends with his arms flopping up and down at least once. All that said, five seems a tad too high. Lance won't have the ball in his hands enough to average five. Four seems reasonable. Plus, "Bad Lance" helps you appreciate "Good Lance."
Larson. Under. If Lance was still slated to come off the bench I would make the over a lock. Preseason showed that Lance just didn't really work with the rest of the bench, with so many players that also demanded the ball in their hands that Lance probably thought he was better than. This lead to him making some dumb plays when he did have the ball, because he felt like it was finally his turn to do something. Add early in the shot clock to your above description. But with the starters, Lance seems to be reigned in and knows that Blake and Paul are much better and should either be handling the ball or shooting it a majority of the time. As a starter, Lance has been on his best behavior, looking down right like a good fit last night against the Kings. I'd say the "Bad Lance" possessions will be closer to 2.5, with most coming in transition. I feel like we could've also inserted Jamal, Austin, or Smoove instead of Lance into this question. Not sure if that's a good thing.
Austin Rivers Over/Under 5 Falls in Transition This Year
Caden: OVER. Clippers most occurring plays in the 2015-2016 season:
1. Chris and Blake pick and roll
2. Blake to DJ alley-oop
3. Doc Rivers complaining
4. J.J. Redick three pointer
5. Jamal Crawford frustrating isolation
6. Austin Rivers falling in transition
Larson: Are you sure that's not just a list of your favorite Clipper plays?
Caden: In Zach Lowe's NBA League Pass season preview, he has a category for unintentional comedy. Austin falling in transition may be my favorite unintentional comedy along with Brandon Knight constantly getting knighted. Rivers falls more when pressure increases, so expect more national television level comedy from Doc's son. Austin needs to get his ears checked, as he definitely possesses balance issues. He'll need to tel the doctor it's a chronic issue, showing him footage from the Houston series. It usually happens during a Clipper run, killing all momentum. I'm expecting around 400 out of him this season.
Larson: Go home you're drunk. Or rather, just drugged up from your tonsils being no more. I will not stand for your Austin hate and I think him and his refined jumper are going to be big for the Clippers this season.
Let us know how you'd bet these different odds in the comments.