The 2019 Clippers were built on the mantra that they are a star away from being truly elite. After signing Kawhi Leonard and trading for Paul George, the Doc Rivers-led crew now has reached elite status in 2020. Though LA has been hobbled by injuries, it has shown glimpses of how great it can truly be when fully healthy. Here are a few things the Clippers need to work on once the season restarts.
3. Personal Fouls
The Clippers are one of the better defensive teams in the NBA, but they currently sit in the bottom five in person fouls given on a nightly basis. The only teams worse than them are all potential lottery teams. In critical moments, LA will have to clamp down defensively and not rely on giving fouls anytime down the court. As a result, key players get into foul trouble and opponents take free throws more often.
LA ranks 24th in the NBA in steals per game as a team. With great perimeter defenders like Leonard, George and Patrick Beverley, it would be expected that this ranking would be higher. If LA can lock down on teams and force turnovers, this leads to more transition opportunities that started with its defense. The lack of steals is not alarming, but it is something that can be worked on.
1. Transition Defense
While LA is in the middle of the pack in points off turnovers allowed, it is in the bottom third of the league in fast break points allowed. This means that they value every possession offensively, but need to do more work defensively to prevent easy baskets. LA is struggling to get back on time defensively off of missed shots and turnovers, which will be of increased importance in any playoff format.