The Clippers will look to continue their three game winning streak against the New Orleans Pelicans on the road for their final game of the in-season tournament.
Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
When: 7:30 PM PT
How to Watch: Clippervision, Bally Sports SoCal
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: James Harden – Terance Mann – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Ivica Zubac
Pelicans: Dyson Daniels – Herb Jones – Brandon Ingram – Zion Williamson – Jonas Valanciunas
Clippers: Norman Powell questionable (groin), Brandon Boston Jr out (quad), Mason Plumlee out (MCL).
Pelicans: CJ McCollum out, Trey Murphy out, Larry Nance Jr questionable, Matt Ryan out, Dereon Seabron out (G League assignment).
The Big Picture
The LA Clippers return home from a mini-road trip against the San Antonio Spurs during which they have found some answers with their new lineup involving Russell Westbrook coming off the bench.
Not only is this game against the Pelicans important from a continuity standpoint, but there’s some in-season tournament implications hanging in the balance as well. The Clippers are somehow still in play to advance to the next phase of the in-season tournament, but that hinges on them beating the Pelicans by at least 19 points. It gets a little bit convoluted after that.
But, more importantly, the Clippers are looking to build on their recent three-game win streak. Things were looking bleak a few weeks ago on the heels of the James Harden trade and with the Clippers mired in a six game losing streak. Flash forward to now and the Clippers have seemingly righted the ship.
There are still some kinks that need to be worked, out as evidenced by the Clippers taking their foot off the pedal in the second game against the Spurs and nearly coughing up a double digit lead. But encouraging signs are there.
The Pelicans have kind of been the Clippers’ Achilles heel in recent seasons. They’ve won 10 of the last 15 games against the Clippers in head to head matchups including the last four in a row. They’ve also been playing better basketball since a recent players meeting they held.
The duo of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have been meshing well together. Despite the Pelicans injury woes to start this season, they’ve been getting strong contributions from depth players such as second year guard Dyson Daniels and rookie Jordan Hawkins.
The Pelicans have not been an easy opponent for the Clippers and they also have in season tournament implications on their mind. The Clippers also have to be cognizant of the factor that they’re on the front end of a back to back with the Dallas Mavericks looming on Saturday.
This is going to be a major test for the Clippers, one that should tell us a lot about the direction of this team and whether their three-game win streak holds much insight.