Where: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, Florida
When: Monday, August 17 at 6:00 p.m. PT
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac
Mavericks: Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, Kristaps Porzingis
Clippers: None. Wow.
Mavericks: Courtney Lee (left calf), Dwight Powell (right achilles) — OUT, Kristaps Porzingis (left heel) — PROBABLE
We’re finally here. It’s August, and it’s a Monday, but the 2020 NBA Playoffs have begun, and that is a blessing.
The Clippers have been gearing for this moment since July 5, 2019, when the team agreed to acquire both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. They knew the regular season would be a slow build as Leonard continued to manage a leg injury and George recovered from surgeries to both his left labrum and right rotator cuff. That pacing was necessary to arrive at this point, when the Clippers have two healthy superstars heading into the postseason.
The rest of the Clippers are not quite as ready to go as Leonard and George. Patrick Beverley missed the last five seeding games with a strained calf, an injury he previously suffered earlier this season, and Landry Shamet missed the last two. They will both be available for the Clippers, but Rivers will keep an eye on them.
The team welcomed Montrezl Harrell back to the gym today, but he hasn’t played any games in the bubble, meaning his last 5-on-5 came back in March. Doc Rivers said Harrell will play on a minutes limit, as he needs to get back in conditioning, and that the team will try to shy away from using the new wrinkles they’ve added in the bubble when he’s on the floor. Rivers also added that having Harrell at shootaround felt like “Nelson Mandela walked in”. That kind of positive energy can only be a boon for the Clippers.
Even though the Clippers are favorites, Rivers made it clear that you can’t look past a team that has a top five player in the league, which is high praise for the second-year Luka Doncic in his NBA playoff debut. Rick Carlisle also has his teams prepared, even as the underdog in playoff series. Think back to the 2014 Spurs; they eventually won a title, yet probably faced their toughest series against the no. 8 Mavericks in the first round.
The Clippers just want to get things rolling, and so do we. You’ll find everything you need to know about this series on Clips Nation, including the schedule, a series preview, the Mavericks perspective, and staff predictions.
Enjoy the game, comment below, and go Clippers!