LA Fighting for Wins:
The Brooklyn Nets continue their West Coast trip and head to the Staples Center to take on the LA Clippers. Since February 1st, the Clippers are 8-3 as the newest additions to the roster have begun to gel. On the other side, the Nets have lost 10 of their last 11, most recently losing to the Sacramento Kings in an overtime heartbreaker. With the Clippers just 2.5 games out of the third seed in the West (1 game out of 8th), every game has become a must-win for them.
Battle of the Bigs:
Despite the Clippers’ roster undergoing such a large overhaul, there is still one original member of the old big three. Former All-Star center DeAndre Jordan is one of three remaining players on the roster who were with the Clippers last season and has been on a tear since the Blake Griffin trade. Since February 1st, Jordan is averaging 11.5 points and 15.4 rebounds while shooting 62.2 percent from the field.
When the two teams met earlier this season, Jordan was a +22 and had 16 points and 17 rebounds. Rookie Jarett Allen matched up with Jordan in that game for the Nets, but only played 18 minutes. In the four games since the all-star break, Allen has looked like a more confident and polished player. He’s averaged 13.8 points and 8.5 rebounds on 62.9 percent shooting and has also posted a positive plus-minus on a team that has been struggling to get wins.
While Jordan is more vetted and has much more experience than Allen, the matchup between the two tonight should be an exciting one to watch. Furthermore, if Allen can slow Jordan down and keep him off of the boards, the Nets could sneak out of Staples with a win.
Clippers’ Injury Bug:
While the Clippers have been hot, the Nets have a chance to douse LA’s flames and pick up a much-needed win. LA has dealt with a tremendous amount of injuries the entire season, and recently they’ve been put in a tight spot. The Clippers are still without starting point guard Patrick Beverley and recently lost another starter, Danilo Gallinari, to a hand injury. Additionally, LA is without potentially starting shooting guard Avery Bradley, who has a sports hernia, and rookie point guard Jawun Evans. As if things couldn’t possibly get worse LA exhausted the maximum amount of NBA call-up days for both of their two-way players, C.J. Williams and Tyrone Wallace.
Comparatively, the Nets may be the healthiest they’ve been since the start of the season. Other than Jeremy Lin, who remains out for the season, Jahlil Okafor was the only Net to miss the game against the Kings. Now Okafor has recovered from the flu he was afflicted by and will be available in LA.
A thin Clippers’ roster and the good health of the Nets gives Brooklyn the perfect opportunity to steal a win from a team fighting for a spot in the playoffs.
- Points per Game: Even with all the new faces, the Clippers have managed to remain one of the highest scoring offenses in the league. LA averages 108.9 points per game, 7th best in the association. The Nets remain in the middle of the pack when it comes to scoring. Brooklyn’s 105.6 points per game ranks 16th.
- Field Goal Percentage: As expected, the Clippers’ high-octane offense coexists with a solid shooting percentage. LA is shooting 46.9 percent from the floor (9th). The Nets continue to struggle when it comes to shooting as they rank last in the league in field goal percentage at 43.6 percent.
- Three-Point Shooting: Perimeter shooting is one area where both teams have struggled this season. The Nets (34.7 percent) and Clippers (35.2 percent) are 28th and 24th respectively in three-point efficiency. However, the Nets rank second in the league in three-pointers made per game(12.2) and three-points attempted per game (35.1).
- Assists: Brooklyn and LA are both middle of the pack when it comes to assists per game. The Nets rank 12th with 23 assists per game and the Clippers rank 19th with 22.4 assists per game.
- Big Three Categories: Brooklyn remains in the bottom portion of the league when it comes to offense, defense, and net rating. The Nets’ negative net rating of -4.7 is 5th worst in the league and their offensive (103.2) and defensive ratings (107.9) are 5th worst and 7th worst.
Last Time Out:
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018, 9:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: YES Network, NBA League Pass, Fox Sports Prime Ticket (Clippers Broadcast)
History: The All-Time record between the two teams edges out in the Nets favor. Brooklyn has won 48 of the 88 regular season meetings between the two teams. The Clippers came away with a 114-101 victory the last time the teams met on February 12th.
Odds: LA Clippers are favored by seven points over the Brooklyn Nets with an over/under is 224 points.
- Jeremy Lin (knee, out for season)
- Danilo Gallinari (hand) – out two weeks
- Avery Bradley (hernia) out one to three weeks
- Jawun Evans (abdominal/groin) unspecified
- Patrick Beverley (knee) out for season