The LA Clippers return home after a brief two-game road trip to face off against the Indiana Pacers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in their last home game before embarking on the Grammy Road Trip.

Game Information

Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA

When: 12:30 p.m. PST

How to Watch: Bally Sports SoCal

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: Reggie Jackson – Amir Coffey – Marcus Morris Sr. – Nicolas Batum – Ivica Zubac

Pacers: Keifer Sykes – Caris LeVert – Justin Holiday – Torrey Craig – Domantas Sabonis

Injury Report

Clippers: Paul George out (right elbow), Kawhi Leonard out (right knee), Jason Preston out (right foot), Luke Kennard Doubtful (Conditioning), Justice Winslow Questionable (Conditioning), Keon Johnson (G League assignment).

Pacers: Myles Turner out (left foot), Jeremy Lamb out (left knee), Malcolm Brogdon questionable (right Achilles), T.J. McConnell out (right wrist), T.J. Warren out (left foot).

The Big Picture

Each time the Clippers seem to get some possible momentum this season, they give it all back with some tough losses. Such was the case recently when after their come from behind victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night, they went out and put up some stinkers in back to back losses to the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs.

It’s hard to fault them though for their erratic performances. Without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, this is just not a very good basketball team. The fact that they’re hovering around .500 ball and in the mix for a playoff spot is a testament to how hard this group can play and the coaching prowess of Tyronn Lue.

This is a mix of good complimentary players who would look great alongside the star players the team is built around. Unfortunately for them, it’s unclear if and when that will ever happen this season – and so what you see is the result. This team has the ability to overachieve for the moment, but to an extent.

They still have one of the top defenses in the NBA and because of that, they’re capable of being in every game. Their offense has been a different story though, and is why they’re also capable of losing each game they play. In this league you need to be able to do both to win and on most nights the Clippers offense isn’t very pretty.

This team will likely do just enough to stay afloat in a very tough Western Conference playoff picture, and even so it’s probably reality to for them to alternate between wins and losses as they go from game to game.

The Antagonist

The Indiana Pacers have been a major disappointment this season, much more so than the Clippers. They’re near the bottom of the standings in the Eastern Conference and there will be a lot of chatter surrounding them as the trade deadline approaches.

They have a depleted roster as well and will be without Myles Turner, whose name has come up in trade chatter, against the Clippers. They had just recently got Malcolm Brogdon back from an Achilles injury but he was unable to play the game after. His status against the Clippers is still uncertain.

They do have Domantas Sabonis who is making a case to be named to his third-straight All-Star appearance. The Pacers’ versatile big man is highly efficient scorer and a good playmaker and will certainly be a tough cover for the Clippers.

They also have been getting quality minutes from a familiar face in Lance Stephenson. Stephenson was teammates with Paul George back when the Pacers were heralded as a team that could compete with the Big 3 Miami Heat. He was initially signed as a hardship player due to the team’s COVID-19 outbreak, but was able to play well enough to where the Pacers decided to keep him for the season.

The Pacers are beginning a tough road trip through the West Coast that will also take them to the Lakers, Golden State, Phoenix and New Orleans after playing the Clippers.

Notes

  • Although the Clippers have not been hit as hard all at once by COVID-19 like other teams have. it certainly has taken its toll. Each player who has returned from health and safety protocols has not looked as productive as they were before. It’s important to remember that this is still and highly contagious and deadly virus with the possibility of lingering effects long after the virus has passed through one’s system. Luke Kennard and Justice Winslow are finally out of protocols, with both now listed as “reconditioning”, but while Winslow is questionable and Kennard is doubtful, it would be a bit surprising if either were to play. Hopefully they’ll be back shortly, and the Clippers will have all their depth even if their stars remain out.
  • After missing the last 13 games with an ankle injury, the Clippers welcomed Isaiah Hartenstein back to the lineup against the San Antonio Spurs. In limited minutes, he was a perfect 3-3 from the field for six points. Before the injury, he was one of the team’s most dependable and important players and his ability to see the floor and make plays will be huge as he gets his way back into game shape.

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