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