The original date for Game 6 of Clippers against the Mavericks was postponed from Thursday night due to the NBA strike, but basketball goes on, and a Clippers’ win would get them to the second round of the playoffs.

Game Information

Where: Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida

When: 12:30 PM PT

How to Watch: ESPN, Fox Sports Prime Ticket

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: Landry Shamet – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Marcus Morris – Ivica Zubac

Mavericks: Luka Doncic – Trey Burke – Tim Hardaway Jr. – Dorian Finney-Smith – Maxi Kleber

Injuries

Clippers: Patrick Beverley Questionable (Calf)

Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis Out (Knee), Luka Doncic Questionable (Ankle), Dorian Finney-Smith Questionable (Hip), Trey Burke Questionable (Ankle)

The Big Picture

The Clippers’ Game 5 blowout against the Mavericks feels like it happened five weeks ago, not five days. So much has happened since then – the NBA players striking on Wednesday, the drama surrounding various NBA meetings, the deaths of Chadwick Boseman and Clifford Robinson – and basketball was once again put on the backburner. It feels weird that all that happened in the midst of this series, and that the Clippers will play the Mavericks in Game 6 tomorrow as if nothing happened since the last contest.

However, when we last left these teams, the Clippers had put together a historic game, one of the most potent offensive performances in franchise history. The floodgates on the weak Mavericks defense had broken, and with Paul George looking confident, the Clippers poured in points from all over the court. For really the first time all series (outside of the first couple minutes of Game 1 and parts of Game 3), the Clippers looked like the better, deeper, more talented team.

The Mavericks are on the brink of elimination, have officially lost Kristaps Porzingis for the rest of the series, and have several other key players that are questionable (though I’d expect all of them to play). The Clippers, of course are on the other foot, just one game away from moving past this challenging first round matchup and the horrors of Luka Doncic to reach the 2nd round for the first time since 2015. The situation could push both teams in one direction or another. Maybe the Clippers, sensing blood in the water, pounce early, and the Mavs, beaten up and close to defeat, fold. Or, perhaps, the Mavs come out with a sense of desperation, and the overconfident Clippers let them get a rhythm. Either is as likely an outcome as another, and it’s impossible to know which (or something in the middle) we might get in this one.

Notes

Does Pat Beverley Play: Pat Beverley missed Games 2 – 5 with calf soreness after sitting out most of the seeding games with the same injury. However, after being initially labeled as “doubtful”, the Clippers upgraded him to “questionable” earlier this afternoon. Pat’s energy, shooting, and defense have been greatly missed thus far, and it would be great to get him some minutes in this one. Not only would it give the Clippers a much better chance of winning, but it would also hopefully get him back into the swing of things heading into the second round. If the Clippers are to make a deep playoff run, they will need a healthy Pat Beverley. The things he brings to the Clippers have been discussed innumerable times, but suffice to say, he is invaluable. Hopefully he’s healthy enough to get 20 minutes or so in this on.

Montrezl Harrell’s Rhythm: A big development in Game 5 was the play of Montrezl Harrell. After struggling mightily in the first four games, he looked like his usual self in the last contest, putting up 19 points and 11 rebounds in just 23 minutes. More importantly, the energy and swagger was there, and those types of intangibles are what make Trez so valuable to this Clippers team. When he’s diving on the floor for loose balls, consistently attacking the basket, and talking trash, the Clippers as a whole play with a greater passion. He plays too many minutes, and his defense will always be an issue, but when he’s right the Clippers are a more fun and more dangerous team.

Paul George’s Confidence: Montrezl Harrell’s struggles were nothing compared to those of Paul George, who looked lost on the court for much of Games 2 – 4. However, he has since discussed the mental and emotional battles he was facing in that time, and that his talking about it and getting help has made a huge difference. He did indeed look like a different player in Game 5, with much greater confidence, smoothness, and fluidity on the court. When the Clippers get that version of Paul George alongside the consistent superstardom of Kawhi Leonard, they look like the title contender that they have been projected as all season. Let’s hope that Paul George’s mental health is still in a good space, especially with all that’s happened over the past few days. The bubble has been grueling, but it seems to have created greater bonds between players and with staff, and that support could make all the difference.

That’s about all I have to say about Clippers-Mavericks Game 6. The five days off should be very helpful for Luka Doncic and his ankle, so the Clippers will need to be wary of a potential explosion. Then again, the wunderkind has been so good that it’s tough to imagine the Clippers being surprised by anything at this point. Comment on the Clippers, Mavericks, Game 6 talking points, and other ongoing NBA games below!

82 Comments

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Lakers took care of business against a battered Blazers team today. We need to do the same against the hobbled Mavs tomorrow. Even if we don’t get the PG13 we saw in the last game (re: unsustainable), as long as we get average play from him, we should be able to finish off the Mavs. Let’s go Clips!

    • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

      Lakers honestly looked less than impressive against like six guys in a deleted Portland lineup. LeBron and AD carried them and beyond that they had squat.

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    Lakes game vs blazers interesting. Blazers made the Lakes work very hard. It’s probably a template for Clips Mavs..

    The game told you a lot about the Lakes and their possible weak points. They’re a very opportunistic team. Very–no, I’ll say overly –aggressive on defense. I actually would go as far as to call them thugs. And that’s a 2 edge sword. A good defensive team like the Clips could turn that aggression, if they’re smart, into fouls and that needs to happn.

    Caruso is always, I mean always, making faces of disgust. Embrematic of their team. They work the refs big time. Clips vs Lakes would be an absolutely must watch series and would hype up this blog massively.

    LBJ is a handful. Always probing that freight train frame of his, streaky good from long range and a very good passer but I’d play him straight up due to his age. And I’d encourage him to shoot outside and take my chances. Too easy for him inside. Morris will earn his money on James.

    It’s Davis that merits the double team. A very dangerous player. Blazers doubled Davis a lot in the first half and did in successfully. Davis seemed as if he wasn’t used to being doubldd. Turn him into a passer.

    Doc and staff will have the challenge of their lives.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      I wouldn’t go so far as to call any group of black men thugs considering the history of how that word has been employed to justify imprisoning and killing black people for little more than “seeming threatening.” Understanding your sentiment, I would find a better word, like “the Lakers are overly aggressive on defense to the extent of being a bit of a dirty team.”

  • Avatar John Maclean says:

    Hate to be Debbie downer but unless the Clips can routinely click offensively like they did in game 5 the Lakers might have the edge. Let’s assume that Lebron and Kawhi cancel each other out. There’s no question Davis is on another level than PG, and for all their crash test dummies the Lakers play devastating defense when they lock in. Howard is not washed up and is a problem too. Top this all off with the fact that Lebron is the greatest performance artist in NBA history and it could become a pretty heavy lift beating them 4 out of 7. We looked like the Hampton Warriors in game 5 and we’re going to have to make that the status quo to take the Lakers down. Gotta blow them out of the gym. Otherwise in a tightly contested series we might be in trouble. Let’s start by repeating what we did in game 5 in games 6 Sunday.

    • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

      Lakes definitely make you pay for your mistakes. Last nite, Melo came down with a clean rebound at a very critical tme. Green blindsides him, grabs the ball clean and wrestles it away for an easy lay in. Game over. Melo never saw it coming.

      And you’re right about Howard, not wasthed at all. Makes some mistakes but leave him alone at your peril. Pope, Green and Kuz, tho somewhat erratic, can hurt you from the ourside if you double their stars. Agree it’s gonna take the entire team playing xlnt ball to spoil LBJs plans.

      And Lucas, “thugs” was kind of hyperole. Never saw a racial interpretation. That’s the internet for you. Thinking more of mafia protection guys showing their muscle when the shopkeeper comes up short on protecton money.

      • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

        Yeah, sorry if I wasn’t clear, I knew you weren’t making it about their race but I do think we have to be careful because “thug” is the codeword for lots of people who do want to make it about race but need plausible deniability.

        If you’re interested, here is an NPR interview with a professor of English from 2015 who remarks that in recent history, “thug” has become a stand-in for racist social commentators who want to say the n-word but know they aren’t allowed to. Having just come out of a rhetoric program, I would say that this opinion has grown into consensus over the last five years.

        Anyway, I certainly didn’t think you were looking to invoke that, but did feel like it was worth mentioning as something worth thinking about rephrasing in the future.

  • Avatar Oodypkt says:

    Finish it off, move on and get some rest.
    Luka is quite a test for us, next round will bring another challenge.
    One game at a time, keep getting better.
    Go clips!

  • weekend weekend says:

    Let Pat Bev’s calf heal, don’t play him today. We are a better team than Dallas, so let’s beat them today…if only it were so simple.

  • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

    Morris is a jerk.

  • Avatar Minion94 says:

    Lou-Reggie-Sham-Kawhi-Trez against a Boban-Doncic duo. I mean I guess its just gonna be like that this entire playoffs.

  • Avatar ajk777 says:

    Where is everybody?

    Anyways, stupid flagrant by Morris. But Donkic is such an ass.

    And Scott Foster is over here doing his biased things against us as usual. Why hasn’t Steve Ballmer done his job and called Foster and the ref union out for still letting Foster even ref when he has a history of being one of the worst refs ever?

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      If there’s anything recent events have taught me, it’s that being utterly incompetent at your job isn’t necessarily enough to get you fired.

      • Avatar ajk777 says:

        True. It’s a sad fact, really, and I wish that narrative would change.

        • Avatar Eric Ho says:

          Power has become more important than accountability, and public opinion can only do so much when incompetent employees are protected by institutions. This definitely applies to the “elite” class of NBA referees as well.

  • Avatar Eric Ho says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the shoe incident with Morris and Doncic. I don’t think it was premeditated but there is a possibility that he reacted in a way that led to him moving towards Luka and ultimately stepping on his ankle. I don’t think he was trying to injure Luka or that he even remembered that Luka had an angle injury until afterwards. It certainly wasn’t premeditated, but it could’ve been somewhere between “intentional” and an “accident”. Either way, I need Senior to get his emotions in check because I hate having to think about these sorts of problems from our own players.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      I think his intention was to body him up at full court. I really doubt he was going for the full Zaza-targeting technique. If he wanted to target the Wunderkind’s ankle there are a ton of easier and more direct ways to do it.

      • Avatar ajk777 says:

        God, I hate Zaza. I’m super glad that ass isn’t playing anymore. He was the only reason why the Warriors won that one year.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    That was a dumb flagrant by MM. On the bright side JMG playing well so far.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    PG13 looking good so far today

    • Avatar Eric Ho says:

      It’s like he’s not even thinking about his struggles anymore. That’s the goal. I think we will see normal PG moving forward.

    • Avatar ajk777 says:

      Agreed. This is the PG13 we’ve been wanting to see for some time now.

      Although, he needs to stop doing crossover crap. Everytime he does that and then shoots, he misses.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    I hope that if nothing else this series shows Doc just how much better the team looks with Zu out there. He doesn’t always light up the box score, but the screens, the taps on offensive rebounds, the spacing, the rim protection – everything the team does runs so much smoother w/ Zu on the floor.

    • Avatar Domagoj Batinić says:

      yeah, when Zu is in on defense opposing players hesitate to go all the way to the basket (even Dončić) , much more than when any other Clippers center is in

  • weekend weekend says:

    Let’s go Clips! Blitz ‘em in the 3rd, don’t let these guys hang around…

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    I dunno if I’m just used to them now, or if they’ve gotten better, or if it’s just because I was so starved for basketball from March-August, but I’m actually strangely ok w/ the Sieman/Billups duo now. They’ve started to grow on me.

  • Avatar Eric Ho says:

    I’m liking what I see from the Clippers again today. This feels sustainable with room to grow. They look calm and not as streaky as in the past.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      This is turning into a methodical dismantling of the Mavs in the 2nd half. Me likey.

      • Avatar Eric Ho says:

        This feels different than the Clippers of the past; this feels like inertia now. I don’t want to speak too soon, but there’s no feeling of blowing a lead anytime soon here. It is an elimination game, however, so I hope the Clippers keep playing hard knowing that they can buy themselves more rest than the Jazz and/or Nuggets.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Kawhi awake now. Though he’s had a couple plays already that should’ve been and-1s. Thanks, Scott Foster.

  • weekend weekend says:

    Sham wow! Way to blitz ‘em, boys!!

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    JFC Kawhi is beasting

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Good timeout by Doc. Looks like he remembers how quickly the momentum shifted in game 4.

    • Avatar Eric Ho says:

      Yeah, I was screaming at him to call a timeout that game. Lessons learned early on are lessons remembered when things get even harder.

  • Avatar Jonee says:

    Good timeout, Doc

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Hope Trez can hold his own in there against Bobi for the rest of the 3rd

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    …..I don’t like where this is going. Get JMG in there for Trez, Doc.

  • Avatar Jonee says:

    Clippers like making it interesting.

  • Avatar sjake says:

    C’mon Clips. Let’s get this back to 20.

  • Avatar Eric Ho says:

    Zubac +25
    JMG +20

    Harrell -13

  • Avatar sjake says:

    I don’t like PG giving Shameet shit. That was his bad

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    So I see Doc still hasn’t learned that Lou-Reggie-Trez doesn’t work.

  • Avatar sjake says:

    call a to

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Wtf is this lineup.

  • weekend weekend says:

    Meltdown commenced

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Why is the call to have Shamet to cover Luka 1-on-1 and having PG13 guard Finney-Smith? That’s a phenomenally bad idea

  • Avatar Eric Ho says:

    Doc better put Kawhi, JMG and Zu in for the rest of the game.

  • Avatar Eshaan K. says:

    We were up 23. Harrell and Reggie came in. We are now up 6. I don’t know if doc is seeing the same game we are

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      He has prolonged periods of inexplicable brain farts. It’s as if he turned on the auto-sub feature in NBA 2K.

  • Avatar sjake says:

    Yeah, just terrible matchups. Why do we have to have out opponent cut the lead in half and gain momentum before Doc pulls his head out of his ass.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    The Clips dominate when they don’t have those horrible lineups. Lou-Reggie-Shamet-PG13-Trez? 4/5 of those guys are minus defenders at best.

    • Avatar sjake says:

      Yeah, why have those guys out there at the same time. Especially with Boban on the other side.

    • Avatar Eric Ho says:

      Perhaps one of the problems is that the lineup of Kawhi-PG13-Zu-JMG/Morris-Shamet is so good that Doc overplays them and then has to sub in the bench, leading to the lineup of weaker defenders that you’ve mentioned above. We need to find a more balanced lineup between the two.

      • Avatar chogokin says:

        To be fair to Doc, MM got ejected and Bev still wasn’t available, but he still ran that lineup out there for too long.

  • Avatar sjake says:

    ugh…Jackson…you got caught sleeping on that corner 3.

  • Avatar ajk777 says:

    Kawhi is on a roll. Need it to keep going the rest of the game.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Let’s go Clips! Finish these guys off.

  • Avatar Jonee says:

    Reggie made up for that lousy shot on the previous possession

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Reggie picking up Lou’s slack. I…did not see this coming.

  • Avatar sjake says:

    Alright PG way to hustle for that loose ball!!

  • Avatar Eric Ho says:

    Saying my blessings today. We will have a fully healthy team to start Round 2 of the playoffs.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    We’re movin’ on, guys. Is this our first series where we advanced w/o going to 7 games?

  • Avatar Jonee says:

    Broke the curse of Scott Foster, and closed out in less than 7 games. Nice job.

  • Avatar ajk777 says:

    Now that we won against the Mavs, who do we want to win in tonight’s game between the Jazz and Nuggets?

  • Avatar 8sp0rts8 says:

    HUGE win considering Foster tried to throw the game by ejecting Morris on a BS flagrant 2. Hardaway’s foul on PG was worse. AND it was a daytime game. AND less than 20 points from PG again. AND Reggie playing a lot of minutes

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    Congrats to the Clippers for the series win!

    Clippers are undefeated when I don’t post to the game thread until after the game is over. So, for the rest of the playoff I’m going to wait until after the game to post my observations, so here goes my top 10 observations from the game:

    1) Kawhi is the all around best player in basketball. His dominance on both sides of the ball is amazing to watch. He really just out the entire team on his back in the 4th quarter to close this series out. We are incredibly lucky to have him on our team.

    2) Reggie Jackson gets alot of slander from Clipper Nation, but I’m here to say he came up big in this one with clutch 3 after clutch 3 when the we desperately needed those buckets. When he just sticks to catch and shoot 3’s he’s a great addition to the line-up. Problem is he doesn’t always stick to that and tries to do to much at times, the result usually being a turnover.

    3) Mook had a great series on both sides of the ball and I really don’t care for the way he was vilified by the Media, just because the golden boy Luka was crying about it. The ejection was BS if you ask me. He actually got ball and then the follow through hit Luka. How was this any different than the play from game 5 where Hardaway hit PG13 in the face on the same type of follow though? NBA was clearly doing a “make up” call for the “shoe incident” that Mavs and Laker fan haters went apeshit over on Twitter after game 5.

    4) Trez is a BIG BIG BIG (did I mention BIG?) PROBLEM for this team. The minutes he was on the floor we were decimated by Dallas, again and again and again. We almost pulled a Houston Game 6 redux by playing Trez in the late 3rd quarter and into the early 4th. This is likely going to continue to be an issue with either Jokic or Gobert in round 2. Trez is AWFUL on defense (Kawhi got annoyed with him a couple times for blown coverages), gives up wayyyy too many offensive rebounds, and is just to damn small to protect the rim, so that when he’s in the other team is on a never ending layup drill. He is just a really flawed player. Can’t shoot from outside and too small to dominate inside. I hope playing him doesn’t cost us losing a chance at a chip this year but he has got to go in the off season. Would be great if we could pull off a sign and trade so that we could get something back.

    5) PG13 seems like he started to revert back to Playoff P again. Sigh!… As soon as he started missing outside shots he got tentative and started over passing and not attacking. Generally he was OK out there but we REALLY need him to be much better if we’re gonna have a chance to get a chip this year.

    6) ZU is da MAN!!!!… Aside from Kawhi and Mook who were both HUGE this series, I think ZU was really the MVP of the series. The minutes he was on the floor we dominated the Mavs. His defensive presence stifled the Mavs both inside and even on the perimeter. He was Kyptonite for Luka. As awful as Trez has been in hs center minutes ZU has been the complete opposite. He posted a mind blowing +33 ne rating today. WOW!

    7) Sham and JMike were decent. Not spectacular, but very solid contributions

    8) Lou put up a real stinker. The Lou and Trez minutes which used to be so much fun to watch have really turned into a train wreck. Here’s hoping that they can somehow re-kindle something on the offensive side of the ball because otherwise they are darn near unplayable together.

    9) We REALLY REALLY REALLY need Bev back healthy. Please let that calf heal up and stay healthy.

    10) Dallas was a really tough out. Not sure how that team finished 7th seed but Luka is a freaking madman and is pretty much unstoppable, and is likely going to be the best offensive player in the league in a few years if he isn’t already. Add a couple 3&D wings and they are a championship contender. We won this round but I definitely don’t want to be in their playoff bracket again next year.

    • Avatar Thretch says:

      I agree with all 10, especially about Mook and Zubac.

      Trez? I hope this situation gets better. Maybe playing against Denver/Utah’s second units will be good for him. He won’t see a Boban on the 2nd unit, and LAC can minimize his minutes against the starters (Jokic/Gobert) by riding the Zu train.