2022-23 Kia Season Preview

2022-23 Season Preview: LA Clippers

Is this the year? The Clippers boast depth with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both healthy and John Wall joining the mix.

If Paul George and Kawhi Leonard stay healthy, the Clippers should be a force in the Western Conference.

This will be the most anticipated Clippers season since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George came aboard because, for the first time since they became a tandem in the summer of 2019, the planets finally seem aligned.

They had to fight the elements of the 2020 bubble, then injuries, and therefore the Clippers came up short of projections. Finally, not only are both fully mended, but the Clippers are bringing a very enticing supporting cast and also a championship-proven coach in Ty Lue. This team is deep (eight players averaged double-figure scoring last season) with a nice mix of veterans and youth and a pair of very cohesive stars.

The most intriguing player in the rotation is John Wall, who hasn’t played a full schedule in three years, who is only 32 and antsy about restoring his reputation and being on a championship contender. Wall was a five-time All-Star with the Washington Wizards before injuries mounted and his career went sideways. The atmosphere in L.A. will likely rejuvenate him and could give the franchise its first realistic shot at a title.


Can the Clippers overcome themselves? Perhaps more than any other team, the Clippers suffer from a snake-bit history and a lack of enduring respectability. You can rewind it back to Danny Manning, Ron Harper and the unfulfilled era of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. In short, it was always one thing (mostly injuries) or another that denied this franchise the chance to grab the prize. And of course, there’s the overwhelming shadow of the Other Team In Town that will haunt the Clippers until they move into their new digs or win a title.


The anticipation is perhaps at a franchise-record high for the Clippers to travel deep into the postseason and, for once, reach the NBA Finals. Much will depend on health, what else, and how Wall connects with George and Leonard. With their depth and defensive players and star power, it’ll be no surprise if the Clippers are the last team standing in the West come June. They’re that dangerous … and due. Projection: Playoffs.


+7.8% — Reggie Jackson saw the biggest jump in usage rate (from 19.5% to 27.3%) among 191 players who played at least 1,000 minutes in each of the last two seasons. He also saw the biggest drop in effective field goal percentage (from 55.4% to 46.0%) among 112 players with at least 500 field goal attempts in each of the last two seasons. Marcus Morris saw the second biggest drop (from 59.2% to 50.7%).

— John Schuhmann


Paul George: One of the league’s premier two-way players, George is stretching his prime well into his 30s and showing no sign of rust.

John Wall: A blur with the ball who can change speeds, find the open man and brings an improved jumper, Wall is searching for validation post-injuries.

Kawhi Leonard: If his body is right, Leonard is a top-10 player in the league who impacts games at both rims and is steady in the clutch.

Marcus Morris: Offensively he’s primarily a spot-up 3-point shooter who can be streaky yet dangerous when feeling frisky.

Ivica Zubac: The primary screen-setter and dirty-worker on the club, Zubac is the most reliable of a thin group of big men.


Reggie Jackson: The starting point guard of the last two years will be fine off the bench and his shooting will keep him on the floor.

Norman Powell: Very solid all-around swingman will push for starter’s minutes and blend in defensively next to George and Kawhi.

Luke Kennard: He made 44.9% of his 3-pointers in 2021-22 and is a big factor whenever he’s aggressive (which, unfortunately, isn’t often enough).

Terrance Mann: The young and energetic change-of-pace guard brings a unique dimension to a loaded Clippers backcourt.

Robert Covington: He’ll add to the mix of 3-point shooters who can space the floor and also bring some perimeter defense.


How the Clippers have fared stats-wise over the last 5 seasons …

Season W L PCT OffRtg Rank DefRtg Rank NetRtg Rank Playoffs
2021-22 42 40 0.512 109.5 25 109.5 8 -0.0 18
2020-21 47 25 0.653 116.7 3 110.6 8 +6.1 2 X
2019-20 49 23 0.681 113.3 2 106.9 5 +6.3 2 X
2018-19 48 34 0.585 111.4 9 110.4 19 +1.0 13 X
2017-18 42 40 0.512 109.4 8 109.2 19 +0.2 17

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

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Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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