The Los Angeles Clippers are rolling right now, as they added a fourth consecutive notch in the win column, seeing off the San Antonio Spurs 138-100.
It was another virtuoso performance from their star duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, as both continue on a tear throughout this winning streak. During that four-game stretch they are averaging a combined 27.2 points, on 63/48/92 shooting splits, with the boardman getting paid and PG the PG feeding his teammates to great effect.
Here are the takeaways from another morale booster…
Luke’s a force
Though Tyronn Lue confirmed that Luke Kennard’s starting role was merely to prevent the three-guard lineups and because of Marcus Morris Sr.’s absence, it was still good to see him back out on the court and looking loose.
Ty Lue said the decision to start Luke Kennard tonight was to stay away from the three guard group.— Joey Linn (@joeylinn_) January 27, 2023
I asked him if this starting lineup is something that could stay going forward, but Ty said it’s just a one time thing with Marcus out.
Though plus-minus figures can be skewed in such big blowouts, seeing the Duke alum record a +16 in his 16 minutes despite an underwhelming statline showed just how important his presence is to this team.
He looked much more confident and comfortable than he has done at times this season, and his ability to drag defenses out of shape is invaluable to allow Leonard and George to cook. We also know that it only takes him to flip a switch to go nuclear from deep.
All in all, it was great to see that final piece added back to this puzzle…
A Cov-ert operation
Another key part of the Clipper jigsaw has been the coaching staff’s hesitancy to give big minutes to Robert Covington so far this season, but if that was a move made to keep the best lineups secret until the playoffs, it looks like the cat may just be out of the bag.
Six blocks in Robert Covington's last three games combined after he two-hand snatched Collins' layup attempt from behind.— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) January 27, 2023
RoCo absolutely hounded the Spurs on the defensive side of the ball, pulling down seven boards, grabbing two steals and recording three blocks. In fact, he has been the team’s most effective rim protector through their four-game winning streak, proving just how crucial he is to the effectiveness of any and all small-ball lineups for this squad.
It’s good to see him finally getting valuable time on the court, because he can finally start to get the flowers that fans always felt he deserved…
Don’t look up
The Western Conference standings are looking good right now for the Clippers, but while we as fans can start to wildly speculate about just how far up this squad can catapult itself, the players and coaches will be best served taking each game as it comes. Though that would seem like it’s par for the course, there is a lot for fans to get excited about that’s occurring above them.
Clippers also are the only team in the Western Conference with a current win streak of more than 2 games.— Law Murray (@LawMurrayTheNU) January 27, 2023
What a difference a week makes lol
For instance, it’s our guys that have the longest active winning streak in the West, beaten by only the Philadelphia 76ers throughout the rest of the league. Two of the teams above them, the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies, are experiencing the exact opposite with six and four-game losing streaks respectively.
Despite nearly topping the list for strength of remaining schedule, the Clippers find themselves in a much healthier position than many of their conference rivals currently. If anybody from within the organization is reading this, don’t look up. If you’re a fan, is it too early to get excited?