The Clippers (4-4) have managed to string together a couple of wins after that blowout loss in Portland. They look to carry that momentum into Sunday against the visiting Charlotte Hornets (5-5). Keep reading for a full preview of the Clippers’ home game against the Hornets.
Clippers vs. Hornets Game Information
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
When: 6:00 PM PT
How to Watch: Bally Sports SoCal, NBA League Pass
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Eric Bledsoe – Reggie Jackson – Paul George – Nic Batum – Ivica Zubac
Hornets: LaMelo Ball – Terry Rozier – Gordon Hayward – Miles Bridges – Mason Plumlee
Clippers: Kawhi Leonard – OUT (Right Knee; ACL, Injury Recovery), Marcus Morris Sr. – OUT (Left Knee, Injury Maintenance), Jason Preston – OUT (Right Foot, Injury Recovery)
Hornets: PJ Washington – OUT (Left Elbow Hyperextension)
The Big Picture
After a bit of a struggle to begin the season, the Clippers have seemingly found some sort of momentum. They struggled to put away the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night, but still pulled out a much needed win nonetheless.
They then went out on the road and pulled off two rather impressive wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The main takeaway from the two road wins was that Reggie Jackson has seemingly found his shot. He’s struggled to find any offensive rhythm this season but on Wednesday night he shot 11-18 from the field including 7-9 from three-point range.
He followed that up on Friday night with an 8-16 shooting performance, albeit only finishing 2-8 from distance. His resurgence is a welcome one for the Clippers, who have struggled to generate any consistent offense outside of the brilliance of Paul George.
The Clippers defense has picked it up as well, holding the Timberwolves to 84 points on Friday night. The Hornets are a team that can put points on the board so the Clippers defense will need to sharp on Sunday.
The Hornets come in to Staples Center in a bit of a slump. After starting the season on a high note at 5-2, they’ve dropped their last three games including a blowout loss to the Sacramento Kings.
They do have one of the most dynamic young point guards in the NBA in LaMelo Ball who is putting up 19.4 points per game, 6.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists while shooting 40 percent from three-point range.
Ball forms a talented one-two punch with Miles Bridges who is in the early running for Most Improved Player. Bridges is enjoying a career year averaging 24.1 points per game and shooting 48.2 percent from the field.
Despite their recent struggles, this is still a team to not take lightly. Kelly Oubre Jr. has moved into bench role and he had a 26 point outing as a reserve in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Halloween night. They’ve gotten solid production from veterans like Gordon Hayward, Miles Plumlee and Terry Rozier.
The Clippers have sleepwalked through their past two home games, looking lethargic in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers and barely squeaking out a win over the Thunder. The Hornets like to get out in transition and quicken the pace and the Clippers will need to be alert from the get-go.Clippers vs. Hornets Game Notes
Clippers vs. Hornets Game Notes
- Nic Batum’s Consistency: After missing the Clippers opening night loss to the Golden State Warriors, Batum has steadily been one of the most consistent players on the team. Whether its his defense, his floor spacing, or his crashing the glass, his value on this team is huge. He’s shooting 40 percent from three in almost six attempts per game. He’ll likely see a lot of time defending Miles Bridges and that matchup will go a long way in determining the outcome of the game.
- Eric Bledsoe’s Struggles. Bledsoe’s addition to the Clippers seemed like a good one due to his ability to get downhill and put pressure on the defense. It’s still way too early to pass judgement, but he’s struggled mightily through the first eight games. He had a bit of a jolt though in the third quarter against the Wolves on Friday night as he helped spearhead a Clippers comeback. He didn’t shoot particularly well but he was present defensively and he got himself to the line while helping put Minnesota in foul trouble. Bledsoe has to be ready to go with more of the same against the Hornets guards.
- Clippers Slow Starts Continue: While the Clippers ultimately cruised to a win on Friday night against Minnesota, they didn’t come out with any sense of urgency and fell behind by double-digits in the first half. It’s been a recurring theme for this team and with a team like Charlotte that wants to put up points in a hurry, a lackluster start isn’t going to cut it. That sense of urgency needs to be there from the opening tip or the Clippers risk getting run out of the arena early.
- Serge Back: The Clippers took Serge Ibaka off the injury report for tomorrow, which means its likely that he makes his 2021-2022 season debut tomorrow! Presumably his minutes will be limited and he’ll be rusty, but it will still be good to see him out there.
That about does it for this preview of the Clippers’ game against the Hornets! Leave your comments below!
Editor’s Note: David is our newest writer, so give him a warm welcome in the comments section!