The Clippers are finally back home in LA, but their schedule gets no easier as they face their long-time kryptonite, the New Orleans Pelicans.

Game Information

Where: Arena, Los Angeles, California

When: 7:00 PM PT

How to Watch: ESPN, Watch ESPN, AM 570

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

Projected Starting Lineups

Pelicans: CJ McCollum – Herb Jones – Brandon Ingram – Zion Williamson – Jonas Valanciunas

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


Pelicans: None

Clippers: Ivica Zubac Probable (Calf), Moussa Diabate Out (Hand)

The Big Picture

The Clippers have won four in a row, closing their last Grammy road trip on a high note. Kawhi Leonard continues to look like one of the best players in basketball, James Harden keeps the offense running in sync, Paul George is doing his best super role player impression, and the rest of the roster is fitting in as needed. With Ivica Zubac back, the Clippers’ primary roster players are healthy, setting them up well for the last week before the All Star break and hopefully coming out rejuvenated the other side. Oh, and no big deal – after the Thunder and Wolves lost last night, the Clippers are now first in the West.

The Antagonist

The Pelicans have won three games in a row to get to 29-21, tied for 6th place in the Western Conference. They’ve floated in that 5-9 range all season, unable to break through to the top tier but too good to fall far into the play-in. For a team that was beset by injuries to start the season, the Pelicans have been mostly healthy of late. Instead, their issue has been consistency, looking great for a couple games and then dropping a couple inexplicable losses. The Pelicans do have a lot of talent and can win any game, so they are not to be taken lightly. While Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson are the biggest profile names on the roster (and have had good seasons), the guy to watch is CJ McCollum, who has shot a scorching 43.7% from three on 7.9 attempts per game.


Stopping Zion: The first time these teams played this season, PJ Tucker was still in the rotation and was a big part in slowing Zion. In the Clippers’ second game against the Pels, they sent a variety of defenders at him, with Kawhi Leonard picking a lot of the slack. It will be interesting to see who gets the assignment this time, as Zion is a tiring player to defend and a mismatch against most teams. If it is Kawhi, the Clippers will probably not be able to rely on him as much offensively. Then again, with Kawhi, who knows.

Attacking CJ: I mentioned CJ as being very dangerous up above, and that’s certainly true on offense. But even though he tries, he’s undersized on defense and all of the Clippers’ stars should be able to go at him. He will probably be stashed on Terance Mann or Amir Coffey, but the Clippers should try to get him switched onto Kawhi, Harden, PG, or even Russ as much as possible, as they can either bully him with strength or shoot over him. The Pelicans have some excellent wing defenders, so the Clippers need to be smart, pick their spots, and attack the Pels’ weakest link on that end.

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