The LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks meet in yet another entertaining matchup. Even better, the Clipps now have James Harden on deck, albeit the early struggles. Still, it’s a battle of two highly capable teams, and something’s at stake as it’ll be within the In-Season tournament.
Catch the game tomorrow at 9:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Dallas Mavericks (6-2, 3-1 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- Luka Doncic
- Kyrie Irving
- Derrick Jones Jr.
- Grant Williams
- Dereck Lively
The Mavericks will be coming off a loss. They were defeated by the Toronto Raptors on Thursday, 127-116. Still, everything’s chill as they are looking good for the most part, which is evident in the record.
Luka Doncic is tearing things up as per usual, and a rightful early top candidate for MVP. He’s averaging 31.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 1.4 steals, and 4.1 threes per game through eight games. As we’ve seen in the past, he’s also extra charged whenever against the Clipps.
The other star, Kyrie Irving (20.3 PPG), isn’t as explosive so far, but knowing how quick he can turn things up a notch, a big stretch may come soon enough. Tim Hardaway Jr. (18.0 PPG) and new Maverick Grant Williams (14.0 PPG), meanwhile, are playing nicely on their roles, alongside rookie big man Dereck Lively (9.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.0 BPG), who’s showing flashes of his abilities.
Dallas is scoring 120.1 PPG and allowing 115.8 per game (+4.3 net rating).
AWAY: LA Clippers (3-4, 0-4 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- Russell Westbrook
- James Harden
- Paul George
- Kawhi Leonard
- Ivica Zubac
The Clippers’ James Harden era isn’t off to a good start as the group will have to learn how to distribute the opportunities well on four ball-needy players. It fell to 0-2 after dropping their Big Apple trip, losing to both the New York Knicks (111-97) and Brooklyn Nets (100-93), and even failing to reach the 100-point mark. James Harden averaged 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in the two contests.
It shouldn’t be much of a concern as the same thing happened last season when Russell Westbrook arrived, wherein they dropped five-straight as soon as the veteran point guard debuted. They turned out fine and injuries arguably took them out of the postseason.
Also, with Kawhi Leonard (23.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.9 APG) and Paul George (23.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.5 SPG) at the helm, you have to think they’ll figure it out eventually. The two are playing solid despite the losing record, and even putting up identical stats.
The Clippers are scoring 113.6 PPG while allowing 113.1 per game (+0.5 net rating).
Handicap: The Clippers (-2.5) claw their way for a win and cover.
Over/Under: The total goes over 233.