Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard is confident his team can play good basketball even without several players as he thinks they have a "deep and talented" roster. On Friday, the Clippers will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the opening day of the NBA season restart at the Walt Disney World in Orlando.
The Clippers, who own a 44-20 record, sit on the second place Western Conference standings with five less wins than the first-placed Lakers. The Clippers will be without three-time Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams and starting big-men Montrezl Herrell, while starting guard Patrick Beverley is questionable for the game.
"I knew that we had a pretty deep squad," Leonard said of the Clippers, who had their full roster available for only 11 games this season due to injuries, as quoted on ESPN. "I knew how talented we could be.
It's about executing now."
Coach believes the Clippers will be fine
Clippers coach Doc Rivers doesn't appear to be too concerned by the fact that the Clippers are missing several players as he also thinks they are a deep team full of talent.
"Well, a deep roster is built for that," Rivers said. "And we've done that. Now, when you have five and six guys out at one time, that's asking too much on any roster. By the time the [seeding] games start, we won't have that many out, but we'll have maybe two to three key guys out, and that's asking a lot.
"Having said that, that doesn't stop us from believing we're going to win every game. We have great confidence." Landry Shamet and Ivica Zubac arrived to the bubble in Orlando last weekend after they both recovered from the coronavirus.
"Guys have the virus, guys have family stuff, and so you have all of this what I call clutter in your lives, and it's part of life," Rivers said. "So we've had to deal with that. "But adversity is not all bad.
You're going to go through hard stuff, and if it's at the beginning, then let's do it now." Clippers General Manager Michael Winger thinks his team is "built for the bubble." "I do think it's built for the bubble," Winger said of the Clippers' roster.
"But the bubble is just an extension of uncertainty, unpredictability and the potential loss of player capabilities, whether short term or long term."