The Los Angeles Clippers received a highly needed boost in their performance when the team ended its losing streak via a victory over the Denver Nuggets. Their latest win over the New Orleans Pelicans appears to have further bolstered the confidence of the NBA squad, which has been pegged as a potential finals contender. Although the plays and strategies underwent some tweaking, one notable difference was seen in the Los Angeles Clippers roster. Prized acquisition Paul Pierce has been replaced by Wesley Johnson - a move that saw the former Boston Celtics star benched.
Johnson, who has not played as a starter in the past 13 games, showed off his skill and endurance in his debut game in Pierce's shoes. The forward's height and agility make him the perfect partner for Blake Griffin. Moreover, his accuracy in making the shots count places him in a beneficial post for DeAndre Jordan to work with. Needless to say, the former Los Angeles Lakers star did well for his opportunities as a starter for the Los Angeles Clippers.
"That lineup is a lineup that I'm going to keep moving, depending on guys," commented Doc Rivers, referring to the starting lineup of his NBA squad against the Denver Nuggets, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Clippers head coach went on to state, "I like Wes the most because of his size and his ability to shoot, but there's nights where you play a great offensive player at that spot and we may go with a defensive guy. We're going to just keep moving it around."
Rivers further echoed the same sentiment in a press conference with the NBA press reporters. "He (Johnson) was great. He was really good. I think we threw him in to start the season in training camp, and I thought that probably hurt him. He hadn't played with that group, so I probably messed him up. Now, I think he's ready for it," the head coach shared. Rivers also revealed that the idea to start Johnson had been the original plan all along. That is, the Los Angeles Clippers have been practicing in training camp with the former Minnesota Timberwolves player as the starter.
For his part, Johnson had been nothing but excited for his new role in the NBA team. He said, "Hell yeah, it's exciting. I'm looking forward to it. Defending, knocking down shots and playing with high energy. It's pretty simple. Just go out there and play ball."