Kawhi Leonard says LA Clippers' Title Chances Come Down to Execution
A lot goes into winning an NBA title. The players and coaches have to be great. The front office needs to make near-perfect decisions. There needs to be a little bit of luck along the way, as well.
Ultimately, though, as LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard puts it, it comes down to execution.
"I knew that we had a pretty deep squad," Leonard told reporters Wednesday morning. "I knew how talented we could be. It's about executing now."
At 44-20, the Clippers have done a solid job of executing so far, all things considered. Even with key pieces in Leonard, Patrick Beverley and Paul George missing a combined 51 games on the year, LA has the second-best record in the Western Conference and sits just 5.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers in the standings.
That said, Leonard feels that this is essentially the beginning of a new season rather than a continuation of one — which calls into question just how much that 44-20 record really matters.
"Basically it's a new season pretty much," Leonard said. "After you win or lose in the Playoffs, you probably have about three months or so to get back to training camp and then go through the same process again."
Leonard is certainly qualified to talk about what it takes to win an NBA title as well — the 29-year-old is already a two-time champion and two-time Finals MVP.
Of course, LA's record through 64 games (along with the eight seeding games, which begin Thursday) will determine who they face-off with in the postseason. But besides that, almost nothing from the earlier part of the season applies here.
One could argue that executing a gameplan is more critical now than ever before, given the circumstances. Without fans, there's no homecourt advantage. Without homecourt advantage, playoff seeding takes on less importance. There's so much less happening in the NBA bubble that interferes with how a team performs in the postseason than usual.
With the Playoffs less than a month off, it won't be long before we see how the Clippers carry themselves in what should be their most favorable run to the NBA title to date.