Milos Teodosic has yet to play a regular season NBA game, but his presence on the Los Angeles Clippers will likely decide how far this team goes in the Western Conference.
The international sensation comes to the United States with a stellar reputation as a gifted offensive playmaker. At 30 years old, the point guard decided it was time to bring his talents to the best basketball league in the world and he chose Los Angeles.
He road will not always be easy for Teodosic. He has large shoes to fill, as he replaces Clippers stalwart Chris Paul, who was traded the Rockets in the offseason. Teodosic does have one advantage, though: He walks into Lob City.
Known for his passing prowess, Teodosic has the good fortune of playing with two of the league’s best finishers around the rim. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan will put those passes to good use as the team transitions to Lob City 2.0.
“It’s his passing ability, and that’s infectious,” head coach Doc Rivers has said. “He’s an interesting passer. He doesn’t hold the ball a lot–the ball’s not in his hands very much because it’s out of his hands pretty quickly. Yet he’s still effective, and that’s hard to do. You have to be a special player to do that.”
Rivers is already a believer in his point guard’s talents. In the Clippers’ second preseason game, the coach started Teodosic after bringing him off the bench in the first contest. Teodosic dished out five assists and the team was a +16 while he was on the floor. While Teodosic isn’t known for his defense, the presence of Patrick Beverley and Jordan should help assimilate him to the NBA game.
The preseason provides Teodosic with important minutes. While Griffin, Jordan, and many of the Clippers’ bench players are familiar with one another, Teodosic has to get up to speed in a hurry. It’s a new style with new teammates. Los Angeles will also face a daunting schedule in 2017-18, as the Western Conference could be as difficult as it’s ever been.
Given the highly competitive nature of the West this season, Teodosic is one of the Clippers’ most important players this season. His success will correlate to that of the team as a whole.
For more Clippers news and tickets to select home games, keep it here on AXS.com.