If this matchup feels a little familiar, it’s because these two teams faced off earlier this week in Los Angeles, though the Nets are a little more whole than they were in the former meeting, having welcomed back Kevin Durant, among others.
As the Clippers have had more players enter the safety protocol on their side — along with head coach Ty Lue, a situation that is a little worrisome considering he is on the other side of the US/Canada border — they have swiped two players from the Nets. James Ennis and Wenyen Gabriel have both switched teams since the last matchup earlier this week. Ennis has yet to suit up for the Clippers, so that doesn’t exactly portend minutes for the even more newly-acquired Gabriel, but the team’s newest signing does play a position of need for a team without Ivica Zubac and Isaiah Hartenstein.
The LA Clippers have signed @WenyenGabriel to a 10-day contract under the COVID-related hardship allowance. pic.twitter.com/Z5JeXplk3V— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 1, 2022
Given the personnel situations, it will be an uphill battle for the Clippers tonight, compounded by the fact that they have yet to win on the second night of a back-to-back all season (0-5 thus far), even at fuller strength. If the Clippers do win, it will be the first time they have collected a victory on New Year’s Day since 2014 against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Nevertheless, the Clippers have been impossible to peg all season, winning against Phoenix and losing to OKC in the same week. It would be quite the start to 2022 if they were able to take down the East-leading Nets.
When: Saturday, January 1 at 4:30 p.m. PT
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
How to watch/listen: Bally Sports SoCal, AM 570 ESPN
Opposing perspective: Nets Daily
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Eric Bledsoe, Reggie Jackson, Terance Mann, Marcus Morris Sr., Serge Ibaka
Nets: Patty Mills, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Nic Claxton, LaMarcus Aldridge
Clippers: Nicolas Batum, Brandon Boston Jr., Paul George, Isaiah Hartenstein, Luke Kennard, Kawhi Leonard, Jason Preston, Jay Scrubb, Ivica Zubac — OUT
Nets: Joe Harris, Kyrie Irving — OUT