Vegas Over/Under: 43.5
The Record Projection: 42-40 of fromal The Bet: Avoid but lean under
How you feel about this over/under likely depends on one key question: Just how easy is replacing Chris Paul?
The Los Angeles Clippers did a fantastic job reloading after learning that Paul wanted a departure to the Houston Rockets. Not only did they manage to pry some funds from his new home in a transaction after he chosen in, however they also convinced Blake Griffin to re-sign before incorporating Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic to the fold.
This is a talented roster with ability and upside at just about every position. It is far deeper than it has been in previous decades, however head coach Doc Rivers certainly didn’t want to obtain depth at the expense of his team’s best player.
And that’s the problem.
Paul was not just the engine that made the Clippers run; he basically was the Clippers.
Patrick Beverley and Teodosic ought to be solid replacements in the 1, but they can’t replicate his ability to run the offense perfectly.
Whether Paul was calling his own band or setting up teammates, he commanded the flow of the game as well as anyone. It’s the reason LAC was a staggering 19.6 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor in 2016-17, as well as why that he finished No. 2 overall in ESPN.com’s actual plus/minus, behind just LeBron James.
His work simply can not be replicated.
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