The Los Angeles Clippers travel to Sacramento with a 2-game winning streak. They lie 2nd in the Western Conference Table (8-4 record) in contrast to the 12th position of their Pacific Division rivals (5-7 record).
Date: Friday 10 pm Eastern Standard Time
Venue: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento
After starting the season on a winning note with a 3-1 record, the Kings are back to their familiar losing territory. The Luke-Walton-coached team was looking like a playoff contender, but it looks like they may not banish their demons anytime soon.
However, the individual form of some of their key players is a positive. Buddy Hield is making history with Sacramento with threes made in a record consecutive 78 games. Can he continue that streak against the tight defense of the Clippers?
Guard – Buddy Hield
Guard – De’Aaron Fox
Center – Richaun Holmes
Forward – Marvin Bagley III
Forward – Harrison Barnes
Ah, the noisy neighbors of the Lakers. The Clippers are finding some good form right now, but they are still susceptible to that occasional flop. Not bucking the trend from their nightmare playoffs against the Nuggets, they surrendered a 22-point lead to GSW.
But the bigger concern for them coming into this game is the questionable fitness of Lou Williams. His hip has been bothering him and he was restricted to just nine minutes against the Pelicans. It might make sense to have him rest for this encounter against an unfancied opponent.
Also, Kawhi Leonard may take the night off as well. The ‘Klaw’ is notorious for his load management hypothesis. But since this allows him to peak in the playoffs, Ty Lue may not bat an eyelid.
Guard – Patrick Beverley
Guard – Paul George
Center – Serge Ibaka
Forward – Nicolas Batum
Forward – Marcus Morris Sr.
It is hard to pick anyone but the Clippers as the favorite for this matchup. Even without the likes of Leonard and Williams, they are likely to emerge victorious, and most of that will be down to the way that Paul George has been playing.
Totally counting the Kings may not so smart, but in hindsight, it is hard to see any other winner.
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops