Steve is doing the family thing so here is my attempt at a game preview since I am a fan of both teams.
Deandre Jordan - Samuel Dalembert
What has changed since last time?
The Clippers have started gelling on the court. A lot is due to the fact that Baron Davis is becoming a player that the team needs. Is he the player we all as fans wanted when he signed 2 years ago? No, but right now he is the point guard the team needs. Furthermore, the team is showing that elusive "chemistry." There are small nuances throughout the game that are very telling of chemistry. The players now know where each of their teammates favorite spots on the floor are. Also, they are getting comfortable with passing to one another. This is really overlooked; not all players have the same type of hands, and each player likes to receive the ball differently. The better ball movement exhibits the team getting to know one another.
What on Earth happened to the Kings. This is one of the teams that everyone was getting excited about during the preseason. The biggest recent change is the move of Tyreke Evans into a shooting guard position. He is being asked to attack more and create less. There has been a significant improvement from Demarcus Cousins. Although, his numbers may not pop off the page, but the flashes of brilliance have become more frequent. A player with his size, length, footwork,and touch around the basket will be a force in this league. The kids would call the Kings a "hot mess," as it seems that the entire organization is in limbo. It seems as the ownership is looking for a new arena (and possibly even entertaining a sell/move), there is no signs of a shakeup with the players or coaching staff. The team on the court also seems to play selfishly. People would like to point to Tyreke, but that is unfair. Truthfully, he helps the team most when he is attacking and playing what one might think to be selfish. Also, you can see a lot of other players trying to get their numbers. Carl Landry at times seems like a black hole, and the ball just never goes back out when he catches it.
Small things to look for that will help the Clippers to victory:
This years Kings team is not last years Kings team. Last year, the Kings overcame a 30 point deficit to win a game. This year the Kings seem to play less aggressively when things go bad. I do not want to imply that the team gives up, but the defense gets lackadaisical and the offense gets selfish. If the Clippers can get an early lead, they can have this game in the bag by the 4th as long as the Clippers keep the pressure up.
"Mr. Flippy North" is what I called Cousins in my Kings breakdown before their first meeting. Not much has changed. Cousins has all the size and length to be a great player but he does not utilize all of his physical tools the right way. Think of when Kaman has an easy dunk, but goes for a 360-reverse-left handed layup. The Kings fans have been dealing with Cousins getting pretty and dribbling way too much. Cousins would be much better served just powering people over. If the Clippers can force some turnovers when Cousins gets cute, this can lead to some easy transition baskets.
over/under 195 - I take the over
Kings -1.5 - If anyone bets I would take this bet. The Clippers are playing their best basketball, the Kings are not, but somehow are still the road dogs. I take the Clippers with the 1.5 spot.
LAC 110 - SAC 96
ClipsNation, Steve Perrin, and Bacek do not condone illegal betting. If you have a problem, it's not my problem :)