Updated 10:24 PM EST, Wed, Jan 20, 2021

LA Clippers News Update: A Look Into the Roster - Shaky Preseason A Result of Poor Rebounding?

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All of Doc Rivers' pieces are in place. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin average about 30 minutes per game, Jamal Crawford is putting up 19 PPG, and Glen Davis is the only Clipper limited by a significant injury during training camp, even if his injury isn't too significant.

So why is it that the Los Angeles Clippers can't win a preseason game?

Of the Clippers' five exhibitions losses, all but one have come by double digits; opponents are winning by 13 PPG. The defending Pacific Division champions carry a league-worst -10.2 average point differential through exhibition play, highlighted by Golden States 125-107 drubbing Tuesday night, and Utah, the Western Conference's bottom-dweller last season, is the only team Los Angeles has held under 100 points.

Blaming the defense is too easy. So is suggesting that Rivers' team is playing with indifference; possibly saving their energy for the regular season as many clubs do with starters. What is apparent, what every lost playoff series indelibly reveals, is that team rebounding continuously falls short.

DeAndre Jordan led the NBA in rebounding last year while Griffin averaged 10.1 RPG, yet the Clippers played to a -.07 rebound per game differential. Only the Lakers gave up more offensive boards, and only five teams - none of which made the postseason- surrendered more than the Clippers' 43.7 per game.

A lack of perimeter rebounding forces Jordan to overexert himself. Only bench-role hopeful Jared Cunningham hit the floor longer than Jordan on Tuesday, all while Paul and Griffin took the night off. Granted, Rivers is still mixing-and-matching his lineup. He has to see what works and what doesn't, especially without a solidified small forward named. It's times like these when players not named Jordan or Griffin need to grab some boards.

Former Cavalier Spencer Hawes will split time at the four and five-spot with Davis. Hawes, however, will be Rivers' go-to option if either of his starting big men go down. He posted a career-high 8.1 per while splitting time with Cleveland and Philadelphia last season. If anything, he's been the Clippers best rebounder this fall, most recently putting up seven against Golden State, five against Denver, and six versus Utah.

The Clippers have been outrebounded in every game this preseason, at times to embarrassing levels. Jordan and Griffin need support and Hawes can only provide so much. If someone else doesn't step up, rebounding may be the Clippers' downfall.

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