The Back Story (The Clippers lead the series 2-1):
|11/8/14||Staples||Clipers 106, Blazers 102||Recap||Box|
|1/14/15||Portland||Clippers 100, Blazers 94||Recap||Box|
|3/4/15||Staples||Clippers 93, Blazers 98||
The Big Picture:
Simply put, the Clippers need to bounce back in the worst way from the debacle last night at Staples Center against the. Blake Griffin needs to have another big game tonight, but let's all hope that he gets some more help from his teammates. Home-court advantage hangs in the balance, as the Clippers and Trailblazers are statistically tied in the standings. The Clippers need to keep racking up wins.
The Blazers are riddled with injuries but still very dangerous. This is a talented squad. A key players, Wesley Matthews, has been lost for the season with a torn Achilles. He is a 3 and D player, but Aaron Afflalo should fill this role nicely for Portland. However, this loss guts their depth to an extent. LaMarcus Aldridge is having another wonderful year, but he is playing through injuries on his hand. He has delayed surgery to try to make a playoff run with this squad. Damien Lillard is a dangerous player, and Chris Paul needs to contain him. In previous matchups, Paul done a great job defensively on Lillard.
- Will Nic Batum bury the Clippers from deep yet again? This seems to be a trend with him. Batum had been struggling from behind-the-arc all season, yet he came to life in the previous meeting with the Clippers
- Griffin vs. Aldridge. This is a meeting of two of the marquee power forwards in the west. Both of these players are in the top 3 in this position. Aldridge's length bothers Griffin, so we will likely see Jordan on him. Speaking of Jordan, let's all hope he has a better game in Portland than he did last night in Los Angeles when he was Mr. Invisible.
- Paul vs. Lillard. These two players have very different styles, but both mean so much to their respective teams.
- The 3-ball. Both of these teams love to shoot the long ball. This game could come down to who makes more of these shots.
- The bench. The starters were forced to play a ton of minutes last night due to the shoddy play of the bench (recurring theme all season). Can the bench rescue the starters tonight and let them get some much needed rest?
- Comparison of Key Metrics. The teams are both elite offensively, but the Blazers have been better defensively. This game will likely be full of offensive fireworks, but the Clippers will need to get stops.