The Los Angeles Clippers are ready to erase those demons from last season.
We all remember the epic collapse versus the Denver Nuggets in the second round.
Up 3-1, after being one of the two favorites all season, just to blow that series lead.
However, things are different this time around.
They changed head coaches, brought in some new pieces, and are modest this year.
There isn’t any talk about being the face of LA.
The talks of championship or bust has died down a little.
The Clippers feel different this season, which is why they have a chance to really win it all this season.
There are three main reasons why a deep playoff run can happen; and maybe even a championship.
3. Three-Point Shooting
One of the most under-the-radar stats from this season is the Clippers’ shooting.
Their three-point shooting all season long has been phenomenal, and even historic.
Best 3-point shooting teams in NBA history:
1. 1996-97 Hornets – 42.8%
2. 2015-16 Warriors – 41.6%
3. 2009-10 Suns – 41.2%
4. 2020-21 Clippers – 41.1% pic.twitter.com/QTBVc7KthZ
— Joey Linn (@joeylinn_) May 17, 2021
They have five rotation players shooting 40 percent or better from three.
Kawhi is right on the cusp of 40 percent himself.
They ranked first in three-point percentage and it wasn’t really close.
Three-point shooting and layups are the two means of scoring in the NBA.
The Clippers have players that can drive to score or kick out for that open three.
To be able to shoot at such a high level, as a team, is very important for a team with a deep playoff run in mind.
2. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George
Both of them can be dominant on the offensive end, as well as the defensive end.
Teams would love to have two wing players of this caliber, which is why the Clippers have such an advantage in this department.
Furthermore, George is having a career year after the ridicule he faced after the playoffs last season.
We all remember him hitting the side of the backboard on a corner three, while the Clippers were blowing the series away.
However, he has easily bounced back and is ready to redeem himself.
Kawhi is back and ready to reclaim his throne, as arguably, the best player in the world.
The 2019 playoffs were a masterclass for Kawhi, as he led the Toronto Raptors to their first ever championship.
On both ends of the court, he dominated those playoffs.
We expected another playoffs like that one last season, but the choke happened .
The talks of Leonard not being a true leader and not talking were on full force.
It was as if he didn’t believe in the team.
This season, he has shown to be more vocal and encouraging of the team.
He believes they have an excellent shot to win it all this year.
Kawhi Leonard believes our Clippers have the right group of guys to make a strong run this postseason. 😤 pic.twitter.com/ouSsXRscsi
— Clippers Nation (@ClipperNationCP) May 19, 2021
The tandem of George and Leonard is what will take them far in the playoffs.
1. Their Side of the Bracket
The controversy of tanking for the optimal seeding was one of the biggest topics this past week.
The Clippers lost to two of the worst teams in the league and fell from the third seed to the fourth seed.
There was a chance we could have gotten an all LA first round matchup between the Lakers and Clippers.
However, not only did the Clippers get rid of any hope for that series, but they also made sure the Lakers wouldn’t be on their side of the bracket until the Conference Finals.
The Clippers should be ashamed! pic.twitter.com/9RJhMLUYq9
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) May 17, 2021
Regardless of what they did, and how they did it, the bracket is finalized.
They play the Dallas Mavericks in the first round; a team they defeated in the playoffs last season.
Then there is a possible matchup with the top-seeded Utah Jazz.
The Clippers will have the best duo in those series and possibly the best player in the first round matchup with Kawhi.
This is definitely an easier road for a deep run, than the alternative.
It is not what the best storyline is.
It is about giving your team the best odds to win a title.
The Clippers have that opportunity this season.NEXT: Why The Los Angeles Clippers Will Not Make The NBA Finals