Vegas Over/Under: 43.5
The Record Projection: 42-40 of fromal The Bet: lean although Prevent under
How you feel about this over/under likely depends on one crucial question: Just how easy is replacing Chris Paul?
The Los Angeles Clippers did a fantastic job reloading after studying that Paul desired a departure to the Houston Rockets. Not only did they figure out how to pry some funds away from his new home in a trade after he opted in, but they also convinced Blake Griffin into re-sign before incorporating Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic into the fold.
This is a talented roster with ability and upside at pretty much every position. It’s far deeper than it’s been in past decades, however head coach Doc Rivers certainly didn’t want to acquire depth at the expense of his team’s best player.
And that is the problem.
Paul wasn’t only the engine which made the Clippers operate; he essentially was the Clippers.
Patrick Beverley and Teodosic ought to be solid replacements in the 1, but they can’t replicate his ability to run the offense perfectly.
Whether Paul was calling his own number or setting up teammates, he controlled the flow of the game as well as anyone. It is why LAC was a shocking 19.6 points per 100 possessions better with him on the ground in 2016-17, as well as the reason he finished No. 2 overall in ESPN.com’s actual plus/minus, behind just LeBron James.
His work simply can’t be replicated.
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