The L.A. Clippers (6-4) look to keep their five-game winning streak alive at home against the fiery Miami Heat (7-4) Monday night. Read on for our full Clippers vs. Heat game preview.
Clippers vs. Heat Game Information
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
When: 7:30 p.m. PT
How to Tune in: Bally Sports West, NBA TV, AM 570 KLAC, KWKW
Projected Starting Lineups:
L.A. Clippers: Reggie Jackson – Eric Bledsoe – Paul George – Nicolas Batum – Ivica Zubac
Miami Heat: Kyle Lowry – Tyler Herro – Duncan Robinson – P.J. Tucker – Bam Adebayo
L.A. Clippers: Brandon Boston Jr. – OUT (G League – On Assignment), Serge Ibaka – OUT (G League – On Assignment), Keon Johnson – OUT (G League – On Assignment), Kawhi Leonard – OUT (Right Knee; ACL – Injury Recovery), Marcus Morris Sr. – OUT (Left Knee – Injury Maintenance), Jason Preston – OUT (Right Foot – Injury Recovery), Jay Scrubb – OUT (G League – Two-Way)
Miami Heat: Bam Adebayo – QUESTIONABLE (Left Knee Bruise), Jimmy Butler – OUT (Right Ankle Sprain), Marcus Garrett – OUT (G League – Two-Way), Tyler Herro – QUESTIONABLE (Lower Back Tightness), Markieff Morris – OUT (Neck – Whiplash), Victor Oladipo – OUT (Right Knee – Injury Recovery), Max Strus – QUESTIONABLE (Left Knee Sprain)
The Big Picture
From 1-4 to 6-4, the L.A. Clippers have found their groove, to say the least. During this stretch, the Clippers’ toughest win was a 99-94 nailbiter against Oklahoma City, the initial dub that set the LAC redemption tour in motion. Since Nov. 1, the Clippers have looked more and more like the group that the NBA last saw in the playoffs, with Paul “MVPG” George leading the way alongside a capable collection of unselfish players starring in their roles.
A major part of that has been the Clippers’ perimeter shooting regressing to the mean in a big way. In four of their five wins, the Clippers poured in at least 15 threes as a unit. In Tuesday night’s victory over the Trail Blazers, six Clippers finished in double-figures, including George, Reggie Jackson and Nicolas Batum, who combined for 69 of LAC’s 117 points. That isn’t to say the Clippers have had a luxurious amount of depth yet either, however. As Tyronn Lue mentioned postgame last time out, he and his staff are down to just 8.5 guys they’re comfortable with playing. That 0.5 is Justise Winslow, who’s averaging 5.4 minutes per game during the win streak. With Marcus Morris Sr., Kawhi Leonard and Jason Preston remaining hobbled, and four healthy bodies on assignment with the Agua Caliente Clippers, LAC will be rolling out their current Top 8.5 tonight against a team that will surely be the Clips’ toughest opponent thus far in November.
After a busy offseason in which they reloaded with the free-agent additions of Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker, the Miami Heat have had their fair share of inconsistency issues early on so far. In the season opener, Miami demolished Milwaukee on their ring night, 137-95, and went on to collect convincing wins over Brooklyn, Dallas and Utah. The Heat have had multiple meltdowns as well, however, being held under 100 points in some ugly blowouts to Indiana, Boston and Denver.
Heading into the second end of their back-to-back in Los Angeles, the first such set in Heat franchise history, Miami will surely be seeing a bit of red against LAC after fumbling multiple chances to down the Lakers in overtime Wednesday night. During that loss, the Heat were beat up a bit by LAL. After playing the entire first quarter, Jimmy Butler was ruled out for the rest of the game due to a sprained ankle — his availability for tonight’s game will undoubtedly be something to watch before tip-off. (Update: Butler has been ruled out for tonight’s game, per Chris Haynes.) Meanwhile, foul trouble from Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon surprisingly forced the 41-year-old Udonis Haslem to take the floor for a stint.
Clippers vs. Heat Game Notes
- Miami’s Bench Herro: Tyler Herro has scored 203 points off the Miami bench this season, the most by a Heat reserve through the first 10 games of a season in team history. As result, the Heat’s bench has also outscored their opponent’s bench in nine of their 11 games this season. Prior to their loss to the Lakers, Miami’s bench was averaging 43.0 points, the highest in the league.
- Heat Starts: Miami has outscored opponents by a +60 margin in the first quarter this season (316-256). Conversely, even on this five-game streak, the Clippers have often been prone to falling behind in the opening frame (128-144).
- Second Half Security: In their last 10 second-half quarters, the Clippers have given up 30-point periods just three times. Picking up the defensive intensity out of the halftime break has been a major part of LAC’s recent success, and against a team that is pulling down the most rebounds per game in the league this season, it will be vital for the Clippers to get some stops down the stretch tonight.
- Check Your Local Listings: For the first of three games of the season, the local Clippers TV broadcast will be hosted on Bally Sports West, as opposed to its usual spot on Bally Sports SoCal.
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