The Golden State Warriors could have gained the championship final 12 months, however a brand new survey by ESPN sees them shedding to the LA Clippers within the Western Convention this 12 months. That comes as a little bit of a shock after the Warriors placed on a stunning present in final season’s NBA Playoffs and capped it off with a gritty 4-2 win over the Boston Celtics within the Finals. Nonetheless, with the Clippers welcoming again former Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to a roster that already has All-Star wingman Paul George and recently-acquired guard John Wall, the Clippers may have what it takes to take down the champs.
Clippers favored in West
ESPN requested a panel composed of 15 NBA coaches, scouts, and executives numerous questions relating to the upcoming NBA season. This included which crew can be popping out of the Western Convention this 12 months. The Clippers obtained 5 votes out of the 15, whereas the Dubs and the Phoenix Suns bought three votes every. The Denver Nuggets solely obtained a single vote.
How did this come to be? For one, the Clips are anticipated to have Leonard again in motion after lacking all of final season to recuperate from a torn ACL. Whereas it’s nearly sure that Leonard will miss a bunch of video games attributable to “load administration,” his presence on the court docket is predicted to make an enormous distinction for the crew. The final time Leonard performed, he averaged 30.4 factors, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and a couple of.1 steals for the Clippers within the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
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“I do not know if (Leonard will) essentially be MVP as a result of he will not play sufficient, and I do not assume he cares about that,” mentioned an government from an Japanese Convention crew. “However with regards to playoff MVP, he has a superb opportunity of that.”
The crew that Leonard shall be returning to will even sport a brand new face in five-time All-Star John Wall, who joined the Clippers in July after reaching a buyout with the Houston Rockets. The Clippers additionally added extra firepower and defensive grit final season after they acquired Regular Powell and Robert Covington in a commerce with the Portland Path Blazers.
Doubt the Dubs at your individual peril
The Warriors, although, are actually no strangers to being doubted. For each achievement they attain or historic file they knock down, there are at all times naysayers with one thing to say about it. In reality, in August 2021, ESPN speaking heads Domonique Foxworth and Kendrick Perkins predicted that Steph Curry and the Warriors would not win any extra titles with their present roster.
In fact, the Warriors proved them flawed by successful the title that very same 12 months. Curry famous that second and known as these very folks out throughout their celebration within the locker room, repeatedly screaming, “What are they gonna say now?”
The Dubs shall be trying to do the identical factor this 12 months and show that they’re nonetheless the crew to beat within the West. With a core of Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Inexperienced, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and returning heart James Wiseman, the Warriors have greater than sufficient firepower to make one other run on the title.