by Chris Camello (@chris_camello)
LOS ANGELES – It took some time for the Los Angeles Clippers to get everyone healthy. The season has been filled with injured players, load management, and some late additions.
It even appeared the sky was falling, when they lost three straight and four of five overall earlier this month. However, that’s becoming a distant memory as the Clippers (40-19) have rattled off three straight wins with their entire squad healthy.
The returns of both Paul George and Patrick Beverley have clearly helped the team on both ends. The integration of Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson have plugged the holes adding toughness, experience, versatility, and depth.
After a 132-103 wire-to-wire rout over the Denver Nuggets (40-19), the two-seed in the West coming into Friday night, the Clippers have displayed what they could become when spring arrives: a championship-caliber squad.
George spoke about how the Clippers are the deepest team he’s ever played on.
“Yes, this is the deepest team,” said George, who scored a game-high 24 points in the win over Denver. “Not taking away anything from the teams I’ve played for, but top-to-bottom, this is the deepest team I’ve played for.”
Kawhi Leonard believes in the depth of this team, but downplayed it more.
“We got some youth, some veterans, and when it’s all put together, I feel like we could be one of the top teams,” Leonard said. “It’s about sustaining our health and trusting each other.”
Despite their issues; they were still playing well enough to be the three-seed in a competitive Western Conference. Now that they have a stacked and healthy roster, moving past the Nuggets and locking down the two-seed seems like a real possibility.
The more important aspect is to be healthy and playing their best heading into the playoffs. Based on what we have seen in the past week, it appears that what some people expected, hoped, and possibly feared is happening: the Clippers are coming and a team to be feared.