The LA Clippers and Brooklyn Nets are on a collision course, and this will be the second and final clash between the powerhouse teams in the regular season. The Nets currently hold a 1-0 advantage in the season series.
Catch this game at 9 AM Manila time on Monday, February 22.
HOME TEAM: LA Clippers (22-9, 11-5 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Patrick Beverley
- SG: Paul George
- SF: Kawhi Leonard
- PF: Nicolas Batum
- C: Serge Ibaka
The Clippers are coming in having won five of their last six games. On Saturday, they avenged their loss to the Utah Jazz, 116-112 and also snapped the Jazz’s nine-game winning streak in the process.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are back in the fold after missing three and seven outings, respectively. Leonard (26.8 PPG) didn’t miss a beat as he scored a team-high 29 points to go along five rebounds and four assists. George (23.9 PPG) only had 15 points, but he should be able to regain his form soon. He’s arguably having his best season outside of his MVP-worthy campaign in 2018-19.
Marcus Morris Sr. is gaining steam after over a month of uneventful performances. He’s their key man off-the-bench now and is chipping in 18.5 PPG on 49.4% shooting over his last six outings.
In their 124-120 loss to the Nets earlier in the month, Leonard led the way with 33 points while George added 26 and Batum contributing a season-high 21 on 7-for-10 shooting. The poor defense proved to be the factor, though, as they gave up 36 points in the final period.
The Clipps are 5-1 in their last six games and they are scoring 118.2 PPG in that stretch.
ROAD TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (19-12, 8-7 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: James Harden
- SG: Kyrie Irving
- SF: Joe Harris
- PF: Bruce Brown (Kevin Durant is expected to be out again)
- C: Jeff Green
Look out. The Nets are now building some momentum even without Kevin Durant (hamstring). They are winners of five-straight with an average winning margin of 10.6 points. On Friday’s victory, they dominated the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and held them under the century mark, 109-98 – the Lakers were without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder, but still.
A lot has been said on the Nets’ bottom-ranked defense, but it has fairly improved as of late, and even if it’s mostly suspect, the backcourt tandem of James Harden and Kyrie Irving are a handful for any opponent. Irving is pouring in career-bests of 27.7 points on 52.9% shooting, while Harden is posting 24.2 points and 11.7 assists per game since joining the team. Both are quite the headache and are probably enough to be serious title contenders sans Durant.
The list of role players should be able continue providing damage as well, particularly sharpshooter Joe Harris (15.1 PPG) and small-ball Center Jeff Green (12.1 PPG since Jan. 13).
In the said win against the Clipps, Harden double-doubled with 23 points and 14 dimes and Irving scored his then-season-high 39 on 15-for-23 shooting.
The Nets are the best scoring offense in the league with 121.3 PPG.
We should witness quite the clash. Leonard and George are high-scoring, two-way players, while Harden and Irving are certified offensive monsters. The battle of the supporting cast should be interesting as well.
Both teams are on a great stretch but it’s best to stick with the Home team. The Clippers got this, 126-120.