The Los Angeles Clippers may be the 4-seed in the Western Conference, but they have some lofty but realistic goals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
The 2020-21 NBA season has reached its conclusion on Sunday and we’re now moving forward with the playoffs. When looking at both conferences, the Western Conference bracket is absolutely stacked. For the LA Clippers, it’s time for them to live up to their lofty expectation after their early exit from the postseason last year.
This year, the Clippers are situated as the 4-seed in the West, which means they will face off against the Dallas Mavericks again in the first round. But what can fans realistically expect from the power duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George? Here are three attainable goals for the Clippers in this year’s playoffs.
3. Get Patrick Beverley and Serge Ibaka healthy
Given the elite level of competition in the West, the Clippers will need all hands on deck throughout the playoffs if they want to reach the Finals. That means they will need Patrick Beverley and Serge Ibaka healthy throughout the postseason.
Back in March, Beverley missed a decent chunk of time with a sore right knee before returning in early April. After two games, Beverley fractured his left hand, sidelining him for almost a month. However, Beverley has been eased back into the lineup, where he most recently tallied 11 points and 4 assists in 19 minutes in Los Angeles’ season-finale loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
As for Ibaka, he’s missed 30 games since March due to a lower back injury. He has since returned for Los Angeles’ final two regular-season games, where he recorded a total of 27 points, 14 assists and 6 assists in 36 minutes of playing time.
Beverley and Ibaka are two key defensive cogs on the Clippers. If the team plans on making a deep run in the playoffs, they will need these two players at full health and rust-free in the coming months.