The LA Clippers’ chemistry has been one of the major takeaways from training camp. The team seems to truly be void of any egos, and by all accounts loves playing with one another. While nobody on the team would refute that, superstar forward Kawhi Leonard is holding off before declaring this the best group he’s been a part of.
When asked before practice on Wednesday about team chemistry, and specifically Marcus Morris’s comments on this being the best camaraderie he’s experienced with the Clippers, Leonard told reporters, “I mean, it’s the start of training camp. Everybody has been good, but I can’t say it’s the best I’ve ever seen until we start getting into games and seeing how things are when guys aren’t playing, if we lose a game, so I’ll judge it once we get going. It’s hard to tell, but everybody is having fun right now.”
Leonard expanded on this answer when asked what he’s keeping an eye on this season, saying, “Just seeing if that energy is still gonna be there when it’s game 20, game 40. Are we gonna be looking to break at the All-Star break, or are we gonna close it out? We gotta take it one game at a time.”
When asked if there’s anything a team can do to preserve chemistry throughout the course of a season, Leonard said, “I mean as a player you just try to see who’s down, or see those spots we’re lagging in, and lay those concerns out. But it’s human nature… It’s just about staying focused on your team goal.”
Can this Clippers group preserve their chemistry?
Speaking from experience, Leonard knows how difficult the grind of an NBA season can be for a team. Wanting to see this Clippers group rise above that, and preserve their high level of chemistry, he is waiting to make any bold statements regarding this group. While there is no predicting the future, this Clippers team has the pieces in place to preserve their chemistry this season.
Led by veterans, the Clippers are built with players who have one goal in mind, which is a championship. Sacrifice has been a key theme throughout camp, with several players understanding that different levels of sacrifice will be needed throughout the team this year. When a willingness to sacrifice becomes the standard, there is no longer any place for friction. This, combined with the level of accountability that has been on display throughout camp, leaves reason for optimism that the Clippers can maintain a high level of camaraderie even when the going inevitably gets tough.
No team gets out of an NBA seasoned unscathed, and especially those who play deep into the summer like the Clippers plan to. Because of this, Kawhi Leonard is waiting to see how his team responds to this grind, but all signs point to them being up for the challenge.