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Dallas Mavericks: Ranking the 5 biggest threats from the Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks LeBron James Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks LeBron James Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Paul George / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks biggest threat in Western Conference: 5. Clippers

The LA Clippers will be without their superstar for most if not all of the regular season after Kawhi Leonard had ACL surgery. He tore it in in the playoffs, so there is no guarantee that the Klaw plays in the 2021-2022 campaign. The Clippers have no reason to rush him back after agreeing to a long-term deal this offseason.

LA will be a formidable foe with or without Leonard. Paul George will step into the lead role, and he is a superstar capable of carrying a team in the postseason. The Clippers were the deeper squad in the playoffs last season. Despite trading away Patrick Beverley and Rajon Rondo, LA remains a strong team top to bottom. Eric Bledsoe, Marcus Morris Sr., Reggie Jackson, and Nicolas Batum will all have to step up to fill Kawhi’s production.

The Clippers have questions beyond Kawhi too. How healthy is Serge Ibaka after back injuries ended his season after just two playoff games? How much production can LA get from Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, and Luke Kennard?

The Clippers have a high ceiling, but they are going to need a healthy Kawhi to go on a deep playoff run. Still, no team will be looking forward to facing them this season because of their depth.