The LA Clippers should be among the clear title favorites for the 2020-21 NBA season. Their +6.4 point differential is second in the league to the Utah Jazz, they have a number of playoff veterans on their roster and last year’s champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, are likely going to be on the opposite side of the playoff bracket.
They are also blitzing the league on 41.6 percent shooting from long-range, and every non-center rotation player is hitting shots at a high clip from outside. Their offense is second only to the Brooklyn Nets, driven by their two All-NBA wings. On paper they absolutely look like a true contender.
Why the LA Clippers will not win the 2020-21 NBA championship
That’s what we said last year, too, before they flamed out spectacularly in the playoffs. The Clippers (and many of their fans) will say that was due to problems specific to last season: they have replaced Montrezl Harrell with Serge Ibaka, added Luke Kennard and Rajon Rondo to their backcourt rotation and swapped head coach Ty Lue in for Doc Rivers.
Unfortunately it isn’t that easy to change the core of this team, and the core flaws present a year ago are still there. It’s possible this team shoots the lights out and scores its way to the NBA Finals. It’s also possible the Los Angeles Lakers drop to sixth and the Clippers lose in the first round to the defending champions.
While the Clippers deserve to be discussed as title contenders, they should not be elevated into the top tier of title favorites. There are a number of reasons to doubt the Clippers, and here are three of the most pressing.