Clippers ‘Have No Weaknesses’ & Are Title Favorites, Says Former NBA Coach

Kawhi Leonard Clippers Homesick

Getty Kawhi Leonard (R) and Paul George laugh as they listen to Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer speak (not in frame) during their introductory news conference at Green Meadows Recreation Center on July 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

The Los Angeles Clippers started the 2019-20 season with a 2-0 record as they beat the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors easily without Paul George. After slipping up against the Phoenix Suns, they’ve still left their mark through the early stages of the year. Over the first three games, Kawhi Leonard has averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

Among the praise that’s come in about the new-look group to this point, former Warriors head coach and current NBA analyst Mark Jackson had plenty to say about Kawhi and company.

Mark Jackson Says Clippers Are Favorites to Win Title & Have No Weaknesses

During the ESPN broadcast of Friday’s Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers game, Mark Jackson was asked if anything stood out to him during the first three or four games of the NBA regular season.

Jackson would reply, “yes” and proceed to praise the Clippers and their current outlook.

“The obvious front runner to win it all the Los Angeles Clippers – they have no weaknesses. They have done an outstanding job assembling a group that fits together that is willing to buy-in and defends at a high level, competes at a high level, and give effort at a high level. And this is without Paul George— It’s scary how good that team is,” said Jackson.

Kawhi Leonard Talks New-Look Warriors

After the game against the Warriors, Leonard was asked about the new-look Warriors group.

(Quote transcribed by NBCSports’ Jessica Kleinschmidt):

“Steph Curry in charge of the team, how great he is, and that’s really just what I’ve seen that is familiar or similar,” Leonard told reporters. “Obviously Draymond [Green], he ended up getting hurt, so he was out a little bit, but you know, just Steph Curry is similar, but the team’s different this year, you know what I mean — losing [Andre] Iguodala —they got a lot of young players coming off that bench.”

“It’s a different Warriors team right now,” Leonard said. “I think they’re still going to be a good team — it’s only the first game, you know what I mean? Can’t judge them yet.”

Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen Thinks the Clippers Defense Is Ahead of Everyone Else

On Friday’s episode of ESPN’s The Jump, Scottie Pippen shared what impressed him most about the Clippers so far this season.

“It’s the Clippers’ defense. They have a lot of guys, who enjoy playing on the defensive end of the basketball court,”  said Pippen.

“It’s probably easy sailing for Doc [Rivers], you already built this culture from last year with guys. You don’t have a superstar, and you build it with guys like Patrick Beverley, Montrezl [Harrell]; these guys are just hardhat guys that come out, and they work hard night in and night out. And now you bring in a guy like Kawhi [Leonard] a leader, go-to guy, and you have Paul George sitting over there with his leadership waiting.  Their confidence is just off the roof right now, and I don’t see how any team is going to close the gap in the next 25 games. Just because defensively, the Clippers are so far ahead,” Pippen said.

Hall of Famer Gary Payton Thinks the Clippers Are the Best on Paper

Back in August, Gary Payton was asked if he thought the Clippers were the favorite in the West.

“Yeah, I think so,”  Payton told Fanatics View.

“I think they have a good team, but you don’t what’s going to happen that’s paper. We don’t know what’s going to happen and who is going to be hurt. Just like the Lakers and  [DeMarcus] Cousins. Things happen; a lot of teams are going to be good like Houston, Utah, Denver, Golden State, Lakers, and Clippers. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but I think they are the best on paper,” said Payton.

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