The Clippers are coming off a tough loss last night to the Pelicans and are going to have a tough back to back against the Mavericks.

Game Information

Where: Arena, Los Angeles, CA

When: 7:30 PM PT

How to Watch: Clippervision, KTLA, NBA TV

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: James Harden – Terance Mann – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Ivica Zubac

Mavericks: Luka Doncic – Kyrie Irving – Derrick Jones Jr. – Grant Williams – Dwight Powell

Injury Report

Clippers: Mason Plumlee out (MCL), Brandon Boston Jr. out(quad)

Mavericks: Dereck Lively II out (back), Maxi Kleber out (toe)

The Big Picture

The Clippers are in one of their toughest stretches of the season with five games in seven days. They didn’t get off to a good start at the beginning of that stretch, dropping a home game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Things don’t get any easier with the Dallas Mavericks, one of the top teams in the Western Conference so far, in town for the second night of a back to back.

Offensive flow has been one of the Clippers biggest concerns since the James Harden trade. Against the Pelicans, the Clippers struggled to find a consistent offensive rhythm and reverted back to individual offense.

One of the main changes the Clippers made to try and spark some life into the team was moving Russell Westbrook to the bench. But Westbrook has struggled to find a rhythm himself. The Clippers will have stretches where the offense is great and the ball is going through the net. They follow that up with clunky offensive possessions and tough one-on-one shots.

While the Clippers looked decent against the Spurs, the level of competition definitely has to be taken into consideration. The strength of the teams ahead is significantly better than the Spurs with the Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings, and Golden State Warriors looming after the Mavericks.

This upcoming stretch is going to reveal a lot as to whether the Clippers were just beating up on inferior competition, or if they really had found some answers to a consistent lineup.

The Antagonist

The Dallas Mavericks come to town as one of the top teams in the West. They are 10-5 and in third place in the standings. A full training camp with both Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving has done wonders for a team that flamed out in the second half of last season and missed the playoffs.

The Mavs are a little bit beat up though. Their frontcourt is depleted with both Dereck Lively II and Maxi Kleber ruled out. This is where the Clippers can take advantage with Ivica Zubac. He definitely needs to be a focal point on the offensive end.

Getting out to a good start is imperative as well. As is maintaining the intensity. The Clippers taking their foot off the pedal has been a consistent issue in the Kawhi Leonard and Paul George era. The Mavs are a bit vulnerable having lost three of their last five games.

The last time these two teams met, the Clippers did get off to a good start, but were absolutely pummeled by the Mavs late in the first quarter. The Clippers can’t allow that again. This Dallas team can put up points and they will do so in a hurry if allowed.

David Yapkowitz

David Yapkowitz

David is in his sixth season as credentialed media at Los Angeles Clippers games and second season covering the team for 213 Hoops. He also covers the game at the college and high school levels. When his professional basketball dreams did not materialize, he turned to the next best thing, writing about it.

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