Posted on: February 21, 2023, 10:40h.
Final up to date on: February 21, 2023, 10:40h.
The Los Angeles Clippers signed level guard Russell Westbrook after he agreed to a contract buyout with the Utah Jazz.
Westbrook didn’t Play a single minute with the Jazz after the Los Angeles Lakers traded him in a three-team deal shortly earlier than the NBA commerce deadline.
The Lakers are on the Western Convention playoff bubble and didn’t suppose Westbrook might assist them make a postseason push within the final quarter of the season. Nonetheless, the Clippers wanted a veteran level guard like Westbrook to assist them make a deep run within the postseason.
The panorama within the Western Convention was dramatically modified on the commerce deadline when the Brooklyn Nets traded two All-Stars to championship contenders. The Dallas Mavericks acquired level guard Kyrie Irving, and the Phoenix Suns added celebrity ahead Kevin Durant. The Clippers knew they wanted to make a daring transfer to compete with the highest groups within the west, which is why they turned to Westbrook.
Westbrook is a nine-time NBA All-Star, and he gained the MVP within the 2016-17 season with the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder. He averaged 22.5 factors, 8.4 assists, and seven.3 rebounds per recreation over his 15-season profession.
Because the sixth man on the Lakers this season, Westbrook averaged 15.9 factors, 7.5 assists, and 6.2 rebounds off the bench.
Betting the Clippers Down the Stretch
The Clippers (33-28) are at the moment in fourth place within the Western Convention standings, however they’re 9 video games behind the top-seeded Denver Nuggets (41-18).
The Western Convention has ten groups in the course of the standings jockeying for playoff positions. Solely 5 video games separate the Clippers in fourth place and the Lakers in thirteenth place, so there are not any throw-away video games within the ultimate quarter of the season as a result of almost each recreation has playoff implications.
The Clippers are additionally within the hunt for a Pacific Division title. The Sacramento Kings (32-25) sit in first place with a one-game lead over the Clippers, and a 1.5-game lead over the Phoenix Suns (32-28). The Suns are the betting favourite at DraftKings to Win the Pacific Division for a third-straight season at -140 odds, adopted by the Clippers (+230) and Kings (+475).
In Western Convention futures, the Clippers are the third-highest workforce on the board at +450 odds. They path the Suns (+235) and Nuggets (+390).
The Clippers are +900 odds to Win the 2022-23 NBA championship because the fifth-highest workforce on the futures board. FiveThirtyEight tasks the Clippers will end with a 45-37 report, however they’ve solely a 5% likelihood to advance to the NBA Finals with a 2% likelihood of profitable the championship.
The Clippers weren’t a profitable betting workforce this season. They’d a 31-30 report in opposition to the unfold, however that they had a very good spurt previous to the All-Star break with a 9-4 ATS report.
The Clippers have solely 21 remaining video games within the common season, however it’s the second most troublesome schedule within the NBA. Opponents have a mixed .523 profitable share, and the Clippers Play six video games in opposition to the highest three groups within the Western Convention.
Westbrook Stays in L.A.
Westbrook didn’t really depart the Metropolis of Angeles after the Lakers traded him to the Utah Jazz. He remained in Los Angeles whereas his agent and the Jazz hammered out a contract buyout.
The Clippers have been capable of take a flier on Westbrook with out having to surrender draft capital. It’s a slick gamble that might repay if Westbrook can shortly mesh with small ahead Kawhi Leonard and capturing guard Paul George. If Westbrook finally ends up a bust with the Clippers, not less than the workforce didn’t squander any draft picks or have to fret about his future wage. Westbrook turns into a free agent within the offseason.
Invoice Plaschke, a beat author with the L.A. Instances, thinks the Clippers made a silly mistake that mirrors the same miscalculation from the Lakers. In the summertime of 2021, the Lakers acquired Westbrook from the Washington Wizards and the workforce has been in shambles since that commerce.
Russell Westbrook was a lot bother, the Lakers traded a first-round draft decide simply to do away with him,” wrote Plaschke in his newest column.
Westbrook was unable to get in sync with LeBron James and Anthony Davis from the Lakers. Plaschke and a vocal faction of followers thinks that historical past will repeat itself with the Clippers, and Westbrook will likely be unable to slot in with Leonard and George.
George developed a powerful bond with Westbrook as teammates for 2 seasons with the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder. George averaged a career-high 28 factors per recreation in 2018-19 whereas enjoying alongside Westbrook.
“We are able to run with him and that’s type of our recreation, is spacing the ground,” stated George.