by Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello)
LOS ANGELES – The Clippers have had a historic off-season acquiring Kawhi Leonard, the reigning Finals MVP and now two-time champion, and Paul George, an MVP finalist. These two elite stars are a huge reason why the Clippers have been thwarted into the championship conversation for the 2019-2020 season.
Leonard and George are two of the best two-way players in the game and their resume reflects that.
Leonard is a former two-time Defensive Player of the Year and a three-time member of the All-Defensive First team. George was the NBA’s steals leader last season, a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, and a two-time member of the All-Defensive First Team.
Now both Leonard and George can join a team that already has a pitbull defensively in Patrick Beverley, who took on the majority of defensive challenges last season. Beverley guarded nearly every position last season from point guard to power forward. It didn’t matter the size of the player, Beverley would take on those challenges without hesitation or fear.
He most notably hounded Kevin Durant in the Clippers’ first round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors. Things got very chippy and physical in that series between those two, a testament to Beverley’s fiery competitive edge and toughness.
Even with Leonard and George aboard, expect Beverley to be a leader defensively and set a tone his teammates could feed off of every night. Not to mention still take on the tough assignments from time to time.
In a Western Conference loaded with star wing players, the Clippers have three capable defenders that could keep the likes of James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, and even LeBron James in check during their head-to-head match ups.
Don’t be surprised if Harden or Lillard have a 4/17 clip on a night they face the Clippers.