The LA Clippers will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday evening as they potentially debut a couple of new additions to the team. Continue reading for our Clippers-Bucks preview.
Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California
When: 6:00 p.m. PT
How to Tune in: NBA TV, Bally Sports SoCal, AM 570
Projected Starting Lineups
LA Clippers: Amir Coffey- Reggie Jackson – Terance Mann – Marcus Morris – Ivica Zubac
Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis
Clippers: Kawhi Leonard Out (Knee), Jason Preston Out (Foot), (Ankle), Paul George Out (Elbow), Jay Scrubb Out (Toe), Ivica Zubac Questionable (Calf)
Bucks: Brook Lopez Out (Back), George Hill Out (Neck)
The Big Picture
There has been quite a bit to talk about since the Clippers returned from their Grammy road trip. They staved off a Lakers fourth-quarter come back to pick up a much-needed win thanks to the heroics of Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr. But the following day’s news is what we’re all excited about.
The trade is finalized and the status of the incoming players for Sunday night’s game against the Bucks is pending. The matchup obviously looks much different depending on Powell’s and Covington’s availabilities. With Powell, the Clippers will receive both the scoring and shooting boosts that could make a big difference in this game, while Covington would be a lengthy and versatile defender that could provide help against guys like Giannis and Middleton.
The Clippers would face an uphill battle without those newly-acquired players but it wouldn’t necessarily stop them from winning the game — they went undermanned into a matchup against the Durant-Harden Nets and came out victorious. More importantly, the Clips have proven throughout the year to still have that “never say die” attitude that was formed a season ago. A win on Sunday would be a great follow-up to the important win the Clips collected on Thursday.
The Bucks aren’t necessarily having the dominant regular season that they’ve had in past years, but they’re still really good. Giannis, Jrue, and Khris are all great but the absence of Brook Lopez has made a bit of a difference. They offer several quality NBA wings that can defend and really shoot the three well, leading to them ranking in the league’s top-4 in 3-point makes per game. The Clippers will need to eliminate dribble penetration as best as they can in order to avoid kick-outs to shooters.
Milwaukee is also one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA. Most of its boards come by way of the defensive glass, but the Bucks could see an increase in offensive rebounding opportunities if Ivica Zubac can’t give it a go.
Clippers vs. Bucks Game Notes
- Giannis Matchup: The Clippers have a bunch of wing defenders, but Giannis is no traditional wing. We saw Ty Lue choose to defend Giannis with Zu for a lot of last season’s matchup in Milwaukee, but Zu’s availability is in question for the upcoming game. If Zubac can’t go, are we expecting Serge to draw the assignment? Maybe he could, as Bobby Portis could presumably be defended by a bigger wing/forward like Marcus Morris Sr. or Nic Batum. Everything will depend on player availability.
- Point Guard Stuff: Much to the delight of the NBA community, the Clippers actually do need another point guard right about now. The timing of this thing is funny because I remember the height of the “Clippers need a true point guard” discourse came last season when the Clips blew a late lead and fell to these very Milwaukee Bucks after failing to score points down the stretch of that game. Obviously, that problem won’t be solved by Sunday, but I’m still intrigued by what the rotations will look like in this one with only one point guard on the roster.
- Rest Advantage: Sunday’s matchup against the Bucks will be the Clippers’ second straight game having come off of two days of rest. Meanwhile, Milwaukee will be on the second night of a back-to-back. A slow start could be in store for the Bucks as they get their legs under them. Hopefully, the Clippers can take advantage.