Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC
When: 7:30 PM PT
How to Watch: NBA TV, AM 570 Radio
Projected Starting Lineups:
Mavericks: Delon Wright — Luka Doncic — Courtney Lee — Kristaps Porzingis — Maxi Kleber
Clippers: Lou Williams — Landry Shamet — Kawhi Leonard — JaMychal Green — Montrezl Harrell
Mavericks: OUT — Dwight Powell (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE — Jalen Brunson (hamstring), Seth Curry (knee contusion), Dorian Finney-Smith (hip flexor)
Clippers: OUT — Paul George (shoulder), Rodney McGruder (ankle)
The Big Picture:
It’s been a full two weeks since the Clippers first suited up for preseason action, and it will be five days more before they tip off with the Lakers for keeps. The starting lineup is still in flux, but as has been reported by many outlets, Doc Rivers may never cement one, opting to shift personnel from one night’s matchup to another. With this being the final preseason game and just the third against NBA competition, players are still jockeying for roles, hoping to provide coaches with enough positive game tape to earn a key role at the season’s outset. They’ll also try to stay healthy. (Please stay healthy.) It has been a training camp full of nicks and dings, and with Paul George out of action until at least November, it would behoove the Clippers to enter next week as soundly fit as possible.
The Mavericks enter the season as one of the league’s most compelling Rorschach tests. Some see an instant playoff contender. Others have a foot covering the brakes. A few see Pennywise. (They have issues.) No matter what you see, there’s little argument against considering them outside of the West’s muddied middle. Luka Doncic has all the makings of a capital-S Superstar. How quickly he becomes a bona fide one, how quickly Porzingis returns to being a lower-s star (that is, if you think he ever was), and how solidly the rest of the roster coalesces will determine whether the picture takes shape this season or if we’ll be interpreting ink blots for another summer.
- Porzingis is chucking it: The Mavs’ newest franchise tentpole has been planted outside the arc, heaving more than eight attempts from deep in roughly 23 minutes per outing. For comparison, Porzingis averaged 4.8 attempts per game across his last two active seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18) while averaging nearly 33 minutes. Is he just working himself back into fitness or is he assuming you-know-who’s role as Dallas’s seven-foot(-plus) bomber.
(Probably a little of both. Let’s hope he hasn’t been working out with Tim Thomas.)
- Kawhi returns to Canada: Kawhi will suit up in his return to the hardwood up north, even if much of Canada will argue that Vancouver isn’t really CANADA. (I got you, Vancouver. You’re my favorite city. And you’re norther than the We the North center in Toronto.) Should he prepare for a, ahem, chilly reception?
- Trivia! The Clippers have been designated the home team for all five of their preseason tilts. Two of those games have been in Los Angeles.