With the 0-3 Mavericks coming to town Wednesday night, the Clippers caught a big break when Josh Howard twisted his ankle Monday night against the Warriors. An MRI revealed a second degree sprain, and Howard will be out at least two weeks.
Howard is Dallas' second best player, and best wing defender. Dallas has no one to guard Cassell at this point, let alone Maggette.
Dallas' quickness (with Devin Harris and Jason Terry) can still give the Clippers trouble, but some combination of Q, Shaun and Cat should be able to handle them.
The Mavs are still a matchup nightmare for the Clips - Diop usually does a great job on Brand, we've got no one to guard Nowitzki (then again, who does?), etc. etc. But without Howard, it just got a lot easier, on both ends of the floor.