The 2021-22 Los Angeles Clippers in Review

June 11th, 2022

By Alan Lu

This season was always going to be an uphill battle for the 2021-22 Los Angeles Clippers, especially since they lost Kawhi Leonard for the season due to a knee injury, but it further complicated matters when fellow superstar forward Paul George also wound up missing a good chunk of the season due to injury.  Still, the Clippers played valiantly in their absence due to solid head coaching from Tyronn Lue, and the Clippers were a good defensive team this year.

Paul George came back to play for the second half of the year, and he helped take them to the play-in tournament.  However, the Clippers lost their first play-in tournament game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and then George was unable to play in the next game due to catching a bout of COVID-19.  As a result, the Clippers then dropped their second play-in tournament game to the feisty, upstart New Orleans Pelicans, and the Clippers were eliminated from playoff contention.

Key Players:

Los Angeles Clippers’ superstars, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard missed a lot of time due to injury, as George only played 31 regular season games this year, and Kawhi Leonard missed the entire 2021-22 NBA season. Still, the Clippers managed to win 42 games and a trip to the 2022 NBA play-in tournament.
(Photo:
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images, via San Bernardino Sun)

Kawhi Leonard
2021-22 (LAC): N/A

He is a superb, versatile, all-around forward that missed the entire 2021-22 NBA season due to a knee injury, but he has been one of the best players in the NBA for a long time.

2022 Season Grade: N/A
Projected 2023 Rating: 4 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Los Angeles Clippers

Paul George missed most of the season and he didn’t quite play as well as last year, but he was able to turn in some dominant games, which included a late season game where he scored 34 points to help his team beat the Utah Jazz.
(Photo:
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press, via Los Angeles Times)

Paul George
2021-22 (LAC): 24.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 5.7 APG, 2.2 SPG, 42 FG%, 35 3PT%, 86 FT%, 54 TS%, 18.6 PER, 1.3 WS

He missed a big chunk of the first half of the season due to injury, but he was able to come back late in the year.  He wasn’t nearly as effective of a shooter as he had been last year, and he didn’t look to be as dominant as before.  George still was able to have some really good games where he took over, but late in the season, he fell ill due to COVID, which caused him to miss the second game of the play-in tournament that later led his team to get eliminated from playoff contention.

2022 Season Grade: C-
Projected 2023 Rating: 3.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Los Angeles Clippers

Norman Powell had a solid season this year, but he also dealt with some injuries that caused him to only play a few games for the Clippers after being traded there from Portland in a midseason trade.
(Photo:
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press, via Los Angeles Times)

Norman Powell
2021-22 (POR/LAC): 19.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.1 APG, 46 FG%, 42 3PT%, 81 FT%, 60 TS%, 16.3 PER, 2.8 WS

He is an athletic combo guard that did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball this season. He made an immediate impact for the Clippers after being sent to them in a midseason trade, but he got hurt shortly afterwards.

2022 Season Grade: B
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Nicolas Batum
2021-22 (LAC): 8.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 46 FG%, 40 3PT%, 66 FT%, 61 TS%, 13.5 PER, 3.7 WS

He is a skilled, versatile combo forward that can do a lot of things on the court to help his team.  He shot the ball very well, and he also is a very good passer, especially for a player his size.  He also defended well, and he can defend both out on the perimeter and in the paint.  He didn’t look to score much, but he made sound team plays to help his team this past season.

2022 Season Grade: B
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Marcus Morris
2021-22 (LAC): 15.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.1 APG, 43 FG%, 37 3PT%, 87 FT%, 55 TS%, 13.7 PER, 2.4 WS

He is a strong, physical combo forward that provided shooting and scoring for his team this year.  He didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well, but he passed the ball much better this season.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Terance Mann
2021-22 (LAC): 10.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.6 APG, 48 FG%, 37 3PT%, 78 FT%, 57 TS%, 13.4 PER, 5.5 WS

He is an athletic, skilled point forward that saw an uptick in most of his season averages and in minutes, but he didn’t quite shoot the ball as well as he did last year.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Robert Covington
2021-22 (POR/LAC): 8.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 1.3 APG, 42 FG%, 38 3PT%, 84 FT%, 57 TS%, 12.4 PER, 3.2 WS

He is a veteran, 3 and D combo forward that has played his role well in the NBA.  He especially played well in the regular season for the Clippers after being traded there in a midseason trade, but sometimes would not shoot the ball enough.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers’ sharpshooting swingman, Luke Kennard helped his team rally from being down 35 to defeat the Washington Wizards this year, and he scored 7 points in the last 9 seconds of that game.
(Photo:
Evan Vucci/Associated Press, via Orange County Register)

Luke Kennard
2021-22 (LAC): 11.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 45 FG%, 45 3PT%, 90 FT%, 62 TS%, 13.3 PER, 4.5 WS

He shot the ball really well, and he helped lead the comeback charge to rally back down from 35 to defeat the Wizards this year, which included him scoring 7 points in the last 9 seconds of the game

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Luke Kennard did a tremendous job of shooting and scoring the basketball to lead his team down from 35 to get a compelling, comeback win over the Washington Wizards.
(Source:
YouTube/NBA On Fire)

Ivica Zubac
2021-22 (LAC): 10.3 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.0 BPG, 63 FG%, 73 FT%, 66 TS%, 19.2 PER, 7.2 WS

He generally excelled as an interior player for the Clippers this past season, and he has provided a solid interior presence for their team over the years.

2022 Season Grade: B+
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Other Notable Players:

Isaiah Hartenstein

He had a really good season this year, as he thrived as an interior player in much more playing time than anticipated, and he showed off an improved outside shot and playmaking skills with the Clippers.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on an NBA team

Reggie Jackson

He is an athletic, aggressive scoring point guard that took a lot of shots this year, but he was quite inefficient as a shooter and scorer this year.  He had more assists than last year, but he really struggled to shoot or defend consistently this past season.

2022 Season Grade: D-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Amir Coffey

He is an athletic, combo forward that thrived as an offensive player for the Clippers.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer, and he did a good job of distributing the basketball to help his team in games.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Brandon Boston Jr.

He is an athletic, skilled swingman that was able to get substantially more playing time than expected.  He struggled to consistently knock down shots, but he showed some playmaking and rebounding skills, and he is a fairly high upside prospect that seemed to showcase a more diverse skill set with the Clippers than he did when he was in college.

2022 Season Grade: C+
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Other Players on the Roster:

Rodney Hood

He is a veteran sharpshooting forward that didn’t shoot the ball particularly well nor get as much playing time this past season, and he didn’t seem to provide much else at the NBA level.

2022 Season Grade: D-
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe roster player on an NBA team

Xavier Moon (Two-Way Player)

He played very well in the G-League, which enabled him to get a call-up to the NBA, and Moon excelled as a shooter and facilitator in very limited minutes with the Los Angeles Clippers this year.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe roster player on an NBA team

Jay Scrubb (Two-Way Player)

He is a very athletic, energetic swingman that didn’t play much for the Clippers this year.  He didn’t shoot the ball very well in the NBA, but he excelled as a scorer and defender in the G-League.

2022 Season Grade: C-
Projected 2023 Rating: 1 star (2 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: End of the roster player on the Los Angeles Clippers

Jason Preston

He is a skilled, pass-first point guard that missed the entire season due to a foot injury.  He excelled as a facilitator during the NBA summer league before he got hurt, and he also showed the ability to knock down jump shots.  On the other hand, he will need to show that he can match up to taller, quicker players, as he is only an average athlete, and will coming back from an injury.

2022 Season Grade: N/A
Projected 2023 Rating: 1 star (2 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: End of the roster player on the Los Angeles Clippers
Preston’s NBA Comparison: Howard Eisley

Head Coach:

Los Angeles Clippers’ head coach, Tyronn Lue has done a good job of coaching the Los Angeles Clippers. He helped them get to the 2021 Western Conference Finals last year, and he also helped an injury-plagued and depleted team nearly get to the NBA playoffs this year.
(Photo:
Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press, via Yahoo News)

Tyronn Lue
2021-22 (LAC): 42-40, missed the playoffs

Despite not having Paul George for most of the season or Kawhi Leonard, head coach Tyronn Lue managed to keep his team competitive, as the Clippers turned in a winning season this year.  They went 42-40 in the regular season, and they were a solid defensive team that did a very good job of forcing misses.  On the other hand, injuries depleted some of their depth and hurt their ability to score the basketball this year.  He wasn’t quite able to get his team back to the playoffs, but they played tough, competitive basketball this past season.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 3 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Head Coach of the Los Angeles Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Projected 2022-23 Rotation:
C Ivica Zubac
F Paul George
F Kawhi Leonard
G Norman Powell
G Reggie Jackson
____________________
F Marcus Morris
F Nicolas Batum
G Terance Mann
F Robert Covington
G Luke Kennard

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Picks in the 2022 NBA Draft:
#43

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Projected 2023 Win-Loss Record:
44-38, 8th in the Western Conference

Their Projected Offseason Plan:

They are projected to be capped out, so they will have to decide on if they will pick up the team option of Ivica Zubac, as well as wait to see if Nicolas Batum will pick up his player option and opt into his contract for next season.  If they get those two players back, that could help solidify and fortify the depth of their front court.  They also will need to decide if they will keep Isaiah Hartenstein and Rodney Hood, as both are impending free agents, although Hartenstein could elect to hit the open market due to having a much better season than anticipated this year.

They will be getting a fully healthy Kawhi Leonard and Paul George back, as that could immediately put them back in contention for the NBA title next year.  The Clippers will need to stay healthy, but they need a much better season out of veteran point guard, Reggie Jackson, who really struggled with his jump shot this past year. 

Otherwise, they could elect to try to replace him with a higher-caliber player, as they could look to move some pieces around and try to swing a trade with another team. 

The Clippers will need more scoring and playmaking, but a full season of Leonard and George will easily make plenty of that back.  There will be stiff competition from the other teams in the West, but the Clippers are a deep and talented team that on their best days can compete and win against anyone, and they will definitely be in the running for the NBA title next year as long as they can keep everyone healthy. The team analysis of the Los Angeles Clippers was done before the 2022 NBA Draft and the start of free agency.  I went to No Trade Clause and Basketball-Reference for research purposes.  Thanks for reading.

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