The Clippers will look for consecutive wins to begin their 2024 postseason run as they run it back against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of the opening round.

Game Information

Where: Arena, Los Angeles, California

When: 7:00 p.m. PT

How to Tune in: TNT

Tickets: For great deals on Clippers tickets, check out Barry’s Tickets!

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: James Harden – Terance Mann – Paul George – Amir Coffey – Ivica Zubac

Mavericks: Kyrie Irving – Luka Doncic – Derrick Jones Jr. – PJ Washington – Daniel Gafford

Injury Report

Clippers: Kawhi Leonard QUESTIONABLE (knee).

Mavericks: None

The Big Picture

Is Kawhi Leonard going to play? It’s the biggest question everyone is asking, but one that no one seems to have a definite answer to. Should the Clippers’ superstar forward take the court for the first time this month, the impact of his return goes without saying. It would give LA a massive boost from an already momentum-building Game 1. But of course, pessimism is the acquired characteristic of those who faithfully follow the Clippers, so maybe don’t get too hopeful yet (final injury report soon to come).

What we do know is that the Clippers hold a 1-0 series lead with an opportunity to take a comfortable 2-0 advantage, which would be the franchise’s first since the 2015-16 postseason. Checking that box will require more of the same on the defensive end while the offense remains powered by its Southern California natives. Expect Game 2 to present some new wrinkles from Ty Lue as well.

The Antagonist

Whatever the Mavs were in the 20-or-so games prior to this past Sunday’s series opener, they were the complete opposite in Game 1. Their all-star guards were primarily invisible until the game turned uneven, neither of the big trade deadline acquisitions (Daniel Gafford and PJ Washington) contributed much, and the Mavericks’ defensive showing didn’t match that of March and April. 

Despite all that went wrong a couple of days ago, Dallas is still in a position to flush Sunday’s embarrassing effort and steal homecourt advantage with a win in LA this Tuesday night. The offense did find some rhythm while in desperation mode in quarters 3 and 4, so anticipate seeing carryover from that second half early on tonight, specifically, some potential tone-setting from Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic.

What To Watch For

JAMES HARDEN: The Clippers cruised to a Game 1 victory over Dallas while only getting a slightly above-average performance from PG. Glass half empty? Or glass half full? Depends on who you ask. I believe the previously mentioned Derrick Jones Jr. and PJ Washington, who both defended George really well on the perimeter by using their length to keep him in front and into contested jumpers, could make life difficult for George again. If that’s the case, James Harden has to continue taking advantage of the weaker defenders being used on him. He’s the biggest swing factor of this series.

TRANSITION DEFENSE: The Mavs’ offense woke up midway through Game 1 when they were able to beat the Clippers in transition for some early offense. I attribute some of that success to some lackadaisical Clippers defense once their lead was well over 20 points, but I also credit some of that to Dallas going small. Whatever the reason, it’s paramount that LA gets back and causes the Mavericks to play a half-court game as much as possible. There, the Clippers can execute some of their game plan and potentially funnel the ball to the hands of Dallas players who aren’t Doncic or Irving.

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