Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
When: 7:30 PM PT
How to Watch: Clippervision, Bally Sports SoCal
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Russell Westbrook – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Kobe Brown – Mason Plumlee
Magic: Cole Anthony – Jalen Suggs – Franz Wagner – Paolo Banchero – Wendell Carter Jr.
Clippers: Ivica Zubac questionable (thigh), Norman Powell questionable (foot), Terance Mann out (ankle), Brandon Boston Jr. out (quad)
Magic: Kevon Harris (G League two-way), Trevelin Queen (G League two-way)
The Big Picture
Editor’s Note: Dave wrote the rest of this preview before the James Harden trade in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. All of Robert Covington, Nic Batum, Marcus Morris, and KJ Martin will thus be out (if the trade is not official by then) while James Harden and PJ Tucker will not be ready to play. Thus, even without injuries, the Clippers will be very shorthanded- though for once, it’s their stars that are playing while the depth is in shambles.
The LA Clippers come into Tuesday’s game against the Orlando Magic as the front end of a back-to-back. It will be the first test in terms of what the Clippers plans are for the veteran stars. As of now, Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue has said that the plan is to play both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George against the Magic and then evaluate how they feel for Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Clippers could be a little short-handed though against the Magic even with both Leonard and George in the lineup. Aside from the injuries to Terance Mann and Brandon Boston Jr., both Ivica Zubac and Norman Powell were added to the injury report as questionable.
Should Zubac be unable to play, Mason Plumlee would presumably move into the starting lineup. If Powell is unable to play, that would presumably mean more minutes for someone like Amir Coffey. Coffey has been the perfect example of staying ready and he will no doubt answer the call if necessary.
The Clippers have taken care of business from the get-go during both of their home games so far this season. Regardless of who is available or not against the Magic, that same mentality and sense of urgency they’ve been playing with needs to continue.
The Orlando Magic come to town having dropped their first game of the season against the Los Angeles Lakers after starting out 2-0. It’s also the second night of a back to back for them.
This is a very young team with a potential foundational player in Paolo Banchero. They’ve been playing fairly well to start this season, especially on the defensive end. Good shot selection and ball movement is going to be key for the Clippers as not to play into the hands of the Magic’s defense.
The Clippers have had their turnover issues highlighted in the loss to the Jazz and this Magic team will make them pay if they don’t take care of the ball.
The Magic came into Crypto.com Arena last season and grabbed a win from the Clippers. That game was highlighted by the Magic getting numerous open looks from three-point range and converting them. The Magic have not been a very prolific three-point shooting team this season so that’s something the Clippers need to focus on.
With a back to back looming and the possibility of being without one or two of their stars for that game, the Clippers can’t afford to let the Magic game slip away.