Regardless of how this season ends up for the LA Clippers, there’s one variable that will continue to be the center of discussion. Injuries.
The first quarter of the season has been riddled with injuries, most notably to Blake Griffin — out for about two more months with an MCL sprain — and Patrick Beverley — out for the season following a knee surgery.
Looking at the different lineups Doc Rivers has used so far, it’s clear these losses will have a major impact. Griffin is in practically all the team’s best lineups and Beverley’s impact on defense isn’t easily replaced.
Of the lineups that Griffin and Beverley are both not a part of, Lou Williams seems to be the x-factor helping those five-man units to some level of success.
The PIE formula compiles everything a single player does in a game — points scored, rebounds, blocks, missed free throws, etc. — and weighs that number against the same stats generated by everyone in that same game. For the mathematically-minded, the individual player’s stats are the numerator (top) of this equation and the cumulative stats of everyone in the game are the denominator (bottom). The formula then computes a percent value for each player which gives us, in laymen’s terms, the percentage of positive things attributable to that player in that game.
At the time of publication, the Clippers sit in the No. 11 spot in the Western Conference, 2.5 games back from the No. 8 spot. They’re also in position to more than likely finish in the bottom five to bottom seven of the league once the regular season wraps up.
While Williams might have it in him to single–handedly get the Clippers a win or two, he won’t be able to carry them to the playoffs by himself and this injury-depleted roster.
If anything, his play of late could increase his trade value if the Clippers do see the writing on the wall and decide to look at deals by the deadline — Williams, along with DeAndre Jordan could yield a haul to prep for the future with.
For now, though, fans can continue to revel in the brilliance that is ‘LouWillville.’