Sunday is a huge game for both the Clippers and the Mavericks. The Clippers can take a commanding 3-1 series lead, needing just one win over the final three games to advance to the second round. Or, the Mavericks can tie it up at two games apiece, turning it into a best-of-three series all of a sudden.
The biggest storyline heading into this game is the health of Luka Doncic. In game 3, he suffered an ankle injury and missed the remainder of the game. At the time, it didn’t look promising at all, and the short turnaround in games definitely doesn’t help. At the time of this article there is no official update on him, as he’s listed as questionable.
Whether or not he plays, the Clippers will still be favored to win. However, without Doncic in the lineup, Dallas will have to find a lot of production elsewhere. Through the first three games of the series, he’s averaging 27.7 points, 8.7 assists and 8.3 rebounds a game. He’s responsible for about 40 of Dallas’ points.
Even if he plays, his ankle is still likely going to bother him, so definitely something to keep an eye on if he’s on the court.
Where: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, Florida
When: Sunday, Aug. 23 at 12:30 p.m. PT
How to watch: ABC
How to listen: KEIB 1150, ESPN 103.3 FM / 1270 AM
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Landry Shamet, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac
Mavericks: Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, Kristaps Porzingis
Clippers: Patrick Beverley (left calf) — DOUBTFUL
Mavericks: Courtney Lee (left calf), Dwight Powell (right achilles) — OUT, Luka Doncic (ankle) — QUESTIONABLE
With Beverley not playing yet again, look to Shamet to hopefully have another huge performance for the Clippers. Getting the start in place of Bev, Shamet had his best game of the series. In 27 minutes, he put up 18 points while knocking down three from deep. In his first two games, he played only 26 minutes with two points.
Hopefully that great outing was a confidence booster for the young guard, as we’ve seen him have great games in the playoffs before.
Playoff P looks to bounce back from yet another “bad” game. I say it like that, because with the exception of scoring, Paul George has been great for LA so far. In game 1, George had 27 points but had only three rebounds and two assists. Over his last two games, he’s scored only 25, but has 19 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and a block. Following last game, George said he isn’t James Harden and isn’t a scorer like that, he prides himself in doing the other things, too. If George continues to be an all-around great player like that, the Clippers will still win games. If he decides to score 30 as well, well then LA will be nearly impossible to beat.