The LA Clippers had a brief one game road trip, a loss against the Phoenix Suns, and they now return home against the Memphis Grizzlies for an early start time. 

Game Information

Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA

When: 12:30 p.m. PST

How to Watch: Bally Sports SoCal

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: Reggie Jackson – Eric Bledsoe – Terance Mann – Marcus Morris Sr. – Serge Ibaka

Grizzlies: De’Anthony Melton – Dillon Brooks – Ziaire Williams – Jaren Jackson Jr. – Santi Aldama

Injury Report

Clippers: Paul George out (right elbow), Isaiah Hartenstein out (left ankle), Kawhi Leonard out (right knee), Jason Preston out (right foot), Luke Kennard out (health and safety protocols), Xavier Moon out (health and safety protocols), Ivica Zubac questionable (return to conditioning).

Grizzlies: Steven Adams out (health and safety protocols), Ja Morant doubtful (left thigh), Kyle Anderson doubtful (back), Yves Pons doubtful (right ankle), Desmond Bane questionable (left quad), John Konchar questionable (health and safety protocols), Xavier Tillman Sr. questionable (health and safety protocols). 

The Big Picture

The Clippers are in danger of slipping further down the Western Conference standings with the toughest part of their schedule coming up. A fluctuating lineup due to various injuries and players being placed in health and safety protocols has made for a tumultuous start to the year. Those early losses against sub .500 teams at the beginning of the season are that much more magnified now. 

The Phoenix game was going to be a tough one regardless, but the loss at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that is breathing down the Clippers necks in the standings, a game in which the Clippers barely showed any signs of life, was very costly. 

There is some good news on the horizon for the Clippers, however. Ivica Zubac, who has been out due to health and safety protocols since the start of their recent East Coast road swing, has apparently cleared protocols and has been upgraded to questionable pending a return to conditioning. Serge Ibaka has filled in while Zubac and Isaiah Hartenstein have been out, and he’s done well on the offensive end, but he just hasn’t given them much else and that’s why Zubac’s return will be huge. 

The Grizzlies will be coming into the game short-handed as well, and this is a chance for the Clippers to grab one and get a much needed win. They always seem to struggle with these early start games, but they have really dig down for this one and see if they can get back into the win column.

The Antagonist

The Memphis Grizzlies also have a long list of missing players due to a combination of injuries and health and safety protocols, the most recent being starting center Steven Adams. Ja Morant, who is having an All-Star season, is also not expected to play due to thigh soreness.

Despite the missing players, no game is ever a sure thing, and the Clippers cannot come into this game thinking it’s a sure win. This Grizzlies team plays with a lot of heart and energy. They’re coming off a thrashing of the Detroit Pistons in which a few of their young guys really stepped it up. They’re on a seven game win streak and have won 17 of their last 21 games. 

Rookie Ziaire Williams just recently returned from injury and he got his first career start. He had his best game of the season with 14 points and he should get the start again against the Clippers. Dillon Brooks has also returned after being in health and safety protocols and he can be a double-digit scorer with lockdown defense. 

Overall, this is a team that is one of the best in the league in putting up points and in the top half defensively. With a few key guys out, look for the Grizzlies to get Jaren Jackson Jr. plenty of touches. The developing big man is averaging 16 points per game on the season. He has struggled as of late, but this is the kind of situation where he could really bounce back.

David Yapkowitz

David Yapkowitz

David is in his sixth season as credentialed media at Los Angeles Clippers games and second season covering the team for 213 Hoops. He also covers the game at the college and high school levels. When his professional basketball dreams did not materialize, he turned to the next best thing, writing about it.

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