While the LA Clippers’ season is already a couple weeks old, their G-League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers, begin their 2018-2019 campaign today with a 3 PM game against the Oklahoma City Blue. I’m not sure if the game will be on television (last I saw it was TBD), but keep an eye on the box score and maybe some video highlights during the game.
The Agua Caliente Clippers were important for the LA Clippers last year. Two-way players C.J. Williams, Jamil Wilson, and Tyrone Wallace all got their start in Agua Caliente, and ended up playing key roles for the Clippers at various points of the season. This season, Agua Caliente will probably be an even more vital element to the Clippers’ strategy.
It’s true that the Clippers’ NBA roster is stacked with depth, so it’s far less likely that any of the two-way players (Johnathan Motley, Angel Delgado) or Exhibit 10 players (Desi Rodriguez, Jamel Artis) get significant time in the NBA. But because of that depth, some of the Clippers’ regular roster players might spend a lot of their time down in Agua Caliente. Sindarius Thornwell has been with Agua Caliente for a week now because he was just sitting in a suit on the Clippers’ bench, and Jerome Robinson joined them yesterday, with the apparent purpose of playing in the game today.
While it might look a little odd for the Clippers’ lottery pick to be spending his days in the G-League, it makes sense. Robinson is far from rotation minutes at the NBA level, and the Clippers need to give him minutes to grow. If not with their NBA team, his playing with Agua Caliente is the next best thing. He might shuttle back and forth between the two squads, or he could even just remain down in Agua Caliente for a while.
The rest of the Agua Caliente roster has a couple interesting players too. Notably, 2013 #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett is on the team, still striving to reclaim his NBA career. It’s hard not to root for Bennett, one of the biggest busts in NBA history, and hopefully he looks good in Ontario. Nobody else (outside Artis) has NBA experience, but the guys mostly come from big college programs, so if you’re familiar with NCAA basketball, you’ve probably at least heard their names. The most widely known is almost certainly Ryan Boatright, who helped UConn win the NCAA tournament in 2014.
I’d guess the starting lineup today will be Boatright-Jerome-Sindarius-Delgado-Motley, with Artis and Rodriguez as key support players. Hopefully some of their games make it on to TV, because they should be a fun watch for Clippers’ fans.
Update: The game can be watched via Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/nbagleague/videos/503913043443606/