Vegas Over/Under: 43.5
Fromal’s Record Projection: 42-40 The Bet: lean although Avoid under
The way you feel about this over/under probably depends on one key question: Just how easy is replacement 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 manage to pry some assets away from his new home in a transaction after he opted in, but they also convinced Blake Griffin to 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 has been in previous years, though head coach Doc Rivers surely didn’t want to acquire depth at the expense of his team’s best player.
And that is the issue that is enduring.
Paul wasn’t just the engine which made the Clippers operate; he essentially was the Clippers.
Patrick Beverley and Teodosic should be strong 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 commanded the flow of the game as well as anyone. It’s why LAC was a shocking 19.6 points per 100 possessions better with him on the ground in 2016-17, as well as why he finished No. 2 overall in ESPN.com’s actual plus/minus, behind just LeBron James.
His job simply can not be replicated.
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