After the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Clippers play a crucial game against the Pacific Division's top-ranked Sacramento Kings.
Projected starting lineups
Clippers: Russell Westbrook; Paul George; Kawhi Leonard; Marcus Morris Sr.; Mason Plumlee
Kings: De’Aaron Fox; Kevin Huerter; Harrison Barnes; Keegan Murray; Domantas Sabonis
Clippers: Ivica Zubac is out (right calf), Brandon Boston Jr. (G League Assignment), and Jason Preston (G League Assignment).
Kings: KZ Okpala out (knee), Neemias Queta (G League Assignment), Keon Ellis (G League Assignment).
The Clippers enter one of the most important games of the current season after the All-Star break. A victory would effectively lift the Clippers into third place in the Western Conference standings, where the Kings are precisely one game ahead of them.Yet, neither will that be the primary plotline nor will most fans have that on their thoughts. The big story that everyone is looking forward to is Russell Westbrook's Clippers debut. The Clippers had three excellent signings at the trade deadline, and they appeared prepared to surge in the remaining games of the regular season. These decisions were secure and safe, but with little time left for experimentation, the Clippers front management just made one of the largest bets of the year. The skill of Westbrook is undeniable. He was once named MVP and will go down as one of the greatest guards to ever play the position. How he got there seems to be Clipper Nation's main concern will complement the roster as it is now.Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, both of whom were vocal supporters of the Clippers acquiring a seasoned point guard, are two players who enjoy having the ball in their hands, and Westbrook has always been one of those players.Terance Mann, who has served as the Clippers' primary point guard, and Bones Hyland, who has proven himself deserving of playing time, are two more young players on the team. Westbrook is expected to reduce both of their playing time.Yet there is a way to make this signing succeed. Tyronn Lue and the coaching staff must succeed in making this happen.
As was previously said, there is not much time left for experimentation. The Clippers have a chance to improve their ranking and put some space between themselves and the Phoenix Suns, who have added Kevin Durant, a star player, in this game, which is as important as any other. Ivica Zubac's health is another item the Clippers need to keep an eye on. Mason Plumlee will probably start against the Kings because Zubac is officially out. The Clippers were just beginning to feel good with a clear injury report, so it may simply be a precaution. They are doing so many experiments that they cannot afford any more accidents.On the second night of a back-to-back, the Sacramento Kings, who are probably the NBA's greatest surprise this year, will be in town. The Kings now have the NBA's longest active stretch of not making the playoffs, and this year, barring some unexpected accident, they will break that trend. With 25 games remaining, they are presently third in the Western Conference standings and in first place in the Pacific Division. They have been successful offensively. They are second in offensive rating (118.1) and first in points per game (119.5) in the NBA. They haven't been as strong on the defensive end. They rank 23rd in both defensive rating and opponents' points per game (117.2). (115.9).Despite playing back-to-back games, they will enter The Crypt seeking to steal a victory and demonstrate to the rest of the world why they should be taken seriously. In De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, they have one of the NBA's top tandems. Both recently participated in All-Star games. The key will be defence. The Clippers will have a solid chance of winning this game if they can reduce Sacramento's offensive production.
Clippers Vs Kings: NBA Game Preview, Starting Lineups
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