Injuries and not having their whole team together at once — allowing little chance to build real chemistry — was the story of the pre-hiatus Clippers. Nothing changed once they got inside the bubble.
“I don’t think it’s bad,” Doc Rivers said to reporters postgame. “We’re going to be very cautious, I can tell you that.”
The Clippers are always cautious with the return of players. Don’t expect to see much of Beverley for a couple of games.
Los Angeles sits as the two seed in the West, one game up on three-seed Denver. However, what really matters in a restart without home-court advantage is both Houston and Utah (the four/five seeds) are three games back. It’s improbable the Clippers give up that much ground in the five remaining seeding games.
Los Angeles now just needs to make sure it’s ready for the playoffs.
The Clippers had six players in-and-out of the bubble during training camp and are just now getting close to whole. Los Angeles did get Lou Williams back from quarantine on Wednesday — he addressed his chicken-wing fueled absence — but remain without Montrezl Harrell, who is grieving the loss of his grandmother.
Now Beverley will miss some time. The Clippers are 1-2 in the bubble, but both losses were tight ones (to the Lakers opening night and on Devin Booker‘s game-winner Tuesday). The Clippers are playing good defense but still look like a team that just needs to get healthy, and develop a little chemistry, before we know just how good they really are. It’s just a question of if and when they get the whole roster together.