Vegas Over/Under: 43.5
Fromal's Record Projection: 42-40 The Bet: lean although Prevent under
How you feel about this over/under likely depends on one key question: Just how easy is replacing Chris Paul?
The Los Angeles Clippers did a great job reloading after studying that Paul wanted a departure to the Houston Rockets. Not only did they manage to pry some assets from his new home in a trade after he opted in, but they also convinced Blake Griffin to re-sign before adding Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic into the fold.
This is a gifted roster with upside and ability at just about every position. It is far deeper than it has been in previous decades, however head coach Doc Rivers certainly didn't wish to acquire depth at the expense of his team's best player.
And that's the issue.
Paul was not just the engine which made the Clippers run; he essentially was that the Clippers.
Patrick Beverley and Teodosic should be strong replacements in the 1, but they can't replicate his ability to run the offense perfectly.
Whether Paul was calling his own number or setting up teammates, he controlled the flow of the game in addition to anyone. It's the reason LAC was a shocking 19.6 points per 100 possessions better with him on the ground in 2016-17, as well as why he finished No. 2 overall in ESPN.com's actual plus/minus, behind just LeBron James.
His job can't be replicated.
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