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Clippers Fare Well in Player Poll Conducted by the Athletic

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The Clippers have some well regarded players and coaches, according to a fairly extensive player poll released today.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Clippers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletic conducted a poll of 127 current players, well over a quarter of those who were active for this season, on a variety of topics, ranging from most underrated player in the NBA to who’s the greatest of all time. Here’s a brief look at how various Clippers fared in the questions.

Pat Beverley

Unsurprisingly, the heart and soul of the Clippers, Pat Beverley, did very well in the poll, getting mentioned several times and coming close to leading a couple categories. It’s very easy to tell that everyone in the NBA respects Pat. He placed 4th in “who’s the best defender” with 10.5% of the votes, and behind only three perennial DPOY candidates in Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Rudy Gobert. He also came in 4th in “who don’t you want to fight (who’s toughest)”, with 3.8% of the vote, and was BY FAR the smallest of the players listed. By contrast, the guys ahead of him: James Johnson, Steven Adams, and Zach Randolph. Finally, Pat finished 2nd in “who talks the most trash” behind only Draymond Green, accumulating 15.4% of votes. Pat is tough, he talks trash, and he’s a great defender. It’s great to know that his peers appreciate what he brings to the table.

Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers has been an excellent coach for the Clippers. Perhaps most importantly, he’s been a source of stability and respect for a franchise that has often lacked both qualities. He correspondingly placed 5th in “which coach, aside from your own, would you like to play for” with 7% of the votes. Greg Popovich ran away with 40.9% of the votes, but Doc was right there with other top coaches such as Steve Kerr, Brad Stevens, and Mike D’Antoni. Doc also didn’t get a single vote for “which coach would you not want to play for”, which is interesting since Popovich, Erik Spoelstra, and Rick Carlisle received votes as coaches to avoid. Really, Doc is one of the top 5 (at worst, probably top 3) most respected coaches in the entire NBA, and it can’t be underestimated what he’s brought to the Clips.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

The Clippers’ prized rookie point guard received a single vote in two categories: “who’s the best ballhandler”, and “who would you build your team around”. While a single vote isn’t great, and is quite possibly from a Clipper teammate or ex-Kentucky teammate, it’s still great to see Shai’s name pop up on lists like this.

Other votes and notes

  • Lou Williams (5.1%) and Danilo Gallinari (one vote) received some support for “most underrated” player in the NBA. Chris wrote an article recently about Gallo being one of the most underrated players in the NBA, and Lou certainly belongs in that category as well.
  • Montrezl Harrell also received a vote for the trash-talking category, and it’s a bit surprising he didn’t get any more. He seems to stare down a ton of players, especially after dunks, but maybe he doesn’t actually say much. Sindarius Thornwell also got a vote here, which is cool: considering he doesn’t play much, Sin must either get a ton of talking in when he does play, or is a relentless chirper from the bench.
  • The Clippers got a single vote for “who’s going to win the title this season”, which seems unlikely, but is still cool to see.
  • The Clippers also came in 4th for “where do you think Kevin Durant will be playing next season”, with 2.7% (2 or 3 votes) of the players saying the Clips. The overwhelming majority went to the Knicks, with only Golden State getting an appreciable share of support. It really does seem like the Knicks are going to be KD’s destination this summer.