To help me preview tonight’s game versus the Los Angeles Clippers, I talked to Peter Kim, a longtime friend of Project Spurs and an original member of The No Look Pass and the Chronicles of Crotty Podcast. Follow Peter on Twitter @YungBolo for more on the Clippers.
1. Have you been surprised at all by the start of the Clippers even without Paul George?
The Clippers’ start has been solid even without Paul George in the lineup. It’s not too surprising since a good portion of the team played together last season (although if you ask any Clipper fan, they’ll tell you how much they miss Shai Gilgeous-Alexander). They have had stretches where they look like they’re ‘figuring it out’ and stretches where they dominate like the ’17 Warriors. It’s been great to watch.
2. It looks like Kawhi has added a new wrinkle to his game with his passing. What does that do for this team, especially when they get George back?
Kawhi has been deadly as a decision-maker. He’s able to make some impressive interior passes and find open shooters. When George returns to the lineup, opposing teams will have to pick their poison as Kawhi has the power to decide to make a smart pass, hit the mid-range jumper, or kick it out to George, Shamet and the list goes on.
3. How important have Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams been to the Clippers’ early success?
Part of what the Clippers were missing for so many years was consistency and not having a chance to build chemistry. Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell provide their strengths every game: scoring and unmatched energy respectively.
4. There are a lot of good matchups tonight, including Kawhi vs. DeMar and Beverley vs. Murray. Which is the most important and how do you think it plays out?
I’m personally most interested in seeing the Beverley vs. Murray match up. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Murray in action and he’s been a major threat in transition. He may be the one to catch Beverley off guard and create an interesting matchup.
5. What’s your prediction for the game?
Resting Kawhi was definitely a solid strategic move. I think we’ll see a super-efficient and rested Kawhi Leonard help the Clippers win a close one against the Spurs at home 106 – 101.