Ladies and gentlemen, you must bet on the LA Clippers (+2000) to win the Western Conference championship. Right now.
Listen to me. Paul George’s elbow is healed and looking as good as ever in his recent return to the court. And with Norman Powell set to return to the lineup this Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns after sitting out with a broken foot, is a championship push out of the question?
Maybe. Maybe not.
They’ll have to get through the play-in tournament first to secure a 2022 playoff spot. Plus, there’s the rust and lack of replays against each other, which matters — ask the 2019-20 Clippers. And then comes the potential task of having to dethrone the reigning Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns or potentially overtake the dangerous No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies.
Los Angeles Clippers guard Norman Powell, out since Feb. 12 with a broken foot, plans to make his return against Phoenix tonight, sources told ESPN. The final decision on his availability will be made after the pre-match warm-ups. Another significant Clipper returned before the playoffs.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 6, 2022
But it is possible. A year ago, we saw a Clippers squad with a similar number of players defeat the No. 1 seed in the West before finishing sixth with the Suns. Their roster is better this time around, with the additions of Robert Covington, Norman Powell and Isaiah Hartenstein.
I am a believer, but understand that those names may not move the needle for everyone. At least not enough to upset the teams with the top two NBA records in the first round. I understand.
But perhaps the name of Kawhi Leonard will change some opinions. I’m not here to say one way or another if Leonard tries this season after ACL surgery. But I find it strange that last month, before a national TV game against the Warriors, the Clippers randomly asked Kawhi to do a pregame workout on the court in front of the crowd. What was the point?
Oh, and he’s doing some on-court stuff at the practice facility.
Oh, and Kawhi Leonard is here. pic.twitter.com/NBq4Tj7ILG
— Murray Law ☔️ (@LawMurrayTheNU) April 5, 2022
. @MirjamSwanson on the shooting of Kawhi Leonard: “There was a guy shooting on the court. I don’t think you have much to say about him?
Ty Lue: “I didn’t see it.” pic.twitter.com/rvDDd5UYcm
—Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 5, 2022
Regardless of how much you allow yourself to believe in the Clippers’ chances of getting out of the West, it’s all about risk-reward. LA currently has +2000 odds (on Typical bookmaker) to win the West, which are numbers that can be moved by the time Norman Powell has a few games inside. Those are sure to be shortened if the Clips make the playoffs and Fun Guy eventually returns.
The dip is almost over, so now is your last chance to get on.