On the heels of the franchises best off-season ever, it seems silly to ask if the upcoming season will be their best. First off, it’s a silly question because, despite what so many others are saying, no one knows for sure. Then, one could argue that a great off-season should translate to the their best season ever. Finally, it’s important to understand there are multiple ways to define the success of a season.
Lot’s to think about here. So, lets take each of those points individually.
Will the Clippers 2019-20 season be their best ever? No one knows for sure. Of course, if we just started and stopped there writing about the team would be kinda boring. It’s true that no one knows, but we can all guess. I mean, that’s the bread-and-butter of this time of year. Initially, the pundits placed their best on where Kawhi would end up. Some were wrong:
#Clippers are OUT of Kawhi sweepstakes. After a phone conference the team was notified. #Lakers and #Raptors are still in play. LAL confident they can sign him. Stay tuned…. pic.twitter.com/HHfsJmpx9H
— NICK HAMILTON (@NickHamiltonLA) July 1, 2019
Kawhi Leonard will be a Clipper in 2019.
— Kenny Hawkes (@Kenny_Hawkes) December 17, 2018
Believe me when I say that neither one of these two gentleman knew though. I mean really knew. They hoped, they felt, they guessed. Which, is really all we can do this time of year. Fans hope, they feel and they guess. Writers go even further in their hoping, feeling and guessing in that they write about it.
I can’t say if the upcoming season will be the Clippers best ever. I do think its safe to say it is the most anticipated however. That seems good enough for me.
Will the Clippers 2019-20 season be their best ever? It better be considering the incredible off-season they had. This argument makes sense. Generally speaking, when you bring in two All-Stars, you expect a jump in success. This Clippers team is coming of a 50 win season, when you count the two they took from the Warriors. 50 wins is pretty good so when you add those two All-Stars you, and I know I’m repeating myself here, expect an increase in success.
The Clippers franchise best season, win-wise, was 2013-14 and 2014-15 when they won 63 games total. If you count just the regular season then 2013-14 was best when they tallied 57 wins. Do Kawhi Leonard and Paul George mean 10 more total wins in the regular season? I mean, maybe. It’s possible. Again, there’s no way to know for sure but it’s undeniable that they put themselves in a position to excel thanks to their best off-season ever.
One (a great off-season) simply does not insure the other (a great season).
Will the Clippers 2019-20 season be their best ever? It kinda depends on how you define that. If the team wins 58 games, a new franchise high, but loses in the first round of the playoffs, is that their best season ever? I don’t think anyone would say it was.
What if they win 48 games in the regular season, matching their win total from last year and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time ever. Will that make the 2019-20 season the best in Clippers franchise history? I do think this scenario is a stronger contender than the one I presented earlier.
The point is, how do you measure success? Will a 60 win regular season mean success? Will a Western Conference Finals appearance mean success? Will just making it to the NBA Finals mean success?
While we don’t know what will happen in the upcoming season and we know that a great off-season is not a solid indicator for success to come. We can say with some certainty what success for the Clippers should look like in the 2019-20 season. It won’t be a 60+ win season, a Western Conference Finals appearance or even just making it to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. Success for the 2019-20 Clippers means something more.
As incredible as any of those things will be for the franchise, they will all ring empty without a parade down Figueroa. Chairman Steve Ballmer’s greatest accomplishment goes beyond empowering his executive team to assemble the best Clippers team ever. It goes beyond planning the future of the franchise in the form of a new stadium. It even goes beyond energizing a fan-base by being the franchises biggest cheerleader.
Ballmer’s greatest accomplishment has been raising the bar of expectation for a franchise not used to high expectations. The bar has been raised, the fan-base believes and the expected end result is actually realistic. That expected end result? Raising the Larry OB.
It’s not only actually possible for this team, it’s expected.
Jose has written for Bleacher Report, Clipperholics, OC Weekly and wrote a series of articles covering the 2010 NBA Finals for the LA Times. He lives in Southern California and is excited to watch thePeachBasket grow!