One of the biggest things the Clippers needed in order to be successful was improved play from Paul George. Not just improved play from George, but better leadership from the team as a whole.
This morning during shootaround, head coach Ty Lue told the media that Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, and Paul George are stepping up and taking ownership. He gave a little shout out to Serge Ibaka as well, stating "he's been a voice."
The Clippers need as much of this as possible. They had all the talent to win an NBA Championship last season, and they still have all the talent to win an NBA Championship this season. The one thing they were missing last season was the proper leadership and adjustments when things went south. By creating more leaders, the Clippers hope to fix that problem.
Lue had mentioned that the team had a bonding event but kept all the details secret. The only tidbit that leaked out was when Luke Kennard told media that he was surprised to learn one of the older coaches loved Lil Baby. From what was gathered, the main focus of the bonding event was to have the team get to know each other off the court.
Serge Ibaka's leadership and presence was immediately felt both on and off the court. He brings out a side in Kawhi Leonard that very few players seem to do, and there's a greater sense of joy within the team.
Unfortunately for the Clippers, there's no time at all to get adjusted to a new system. Not only do they have a new system, they have a new starting lineup. The regular season begins in less than a week, and the defending champions will be ready - this will be a great test for the Clippers.