After two days off to travel on this Circus Trip — and the circus is having its own problems back home — the 40-28 Brooklyn Nets are in Los Angeles, taking on the only team in Los Angeles anyone is scared of, the 47-22 Los Angeles Clippers. To give you an idea of each conference’s strength, the Clippers are 6.5 games ahead of the Nets and have the same 4th seed.
This is only the second time the Nets have seen the Clippers this year, beating them in their November matchup 86-76 behind a stellar defensive effort from Reggie Evans. If you’re interested in watching me ramble about how that matchup went, the good folks over at ClipperBlog had me on breaking that game down immediately after on their live Clippers postgame show, ClipperBlog Live.
Speaking of ClipperBlog, the best Los Angeles Clippers blog around, I have the pleasure of asking Clippers maven and ClipperBlog writer/senior contributor Fred Katz three questions about tonight’s matchup. ClipperBlog also asked me to answer three questions about tonight’s game, which you can see here. (Note: I am not bullish on Gerald Wallace.)
As you’ll see, the first thing I ask has to do with the CP3-D-Will matchup, the two players competing in The BK Game Streak tonight. Get to pickin’.
Devin: Chris Paul + Deron Williams is always a fun head-to-head. How do you see Paul approaching the matchup?
Fred: On the offensive end, Paul is always looking to distribute and he’s dominant more often than not when it comes to that aspect of the game. That being said, CP3 has struggled with his defense since coming back from his knee injury, namely staying in front of quick point guards. Deron should and probably will take advantage of that.
Devin: Everyone knows the Clippers dunk a lot. What else do they do offensively?
Fred: One of the reasons the Clippers dunk so often is because they’re loaded with great passers and cutters – and it’s not just Chris Paul dissecting defenses. Blake Griffin has turned into one of the best passing bigs in the NBA and Matt Barnes and Eric Bledsoe (though Bled has been hurt) are very instinctual off-ball cutters.
Devin: Describe DeAndre Jordan and how he’ll match up with Brook Lopez without using the word “dunk.”
Fred: At this point, Lopez is miles ahead of DJ on the offensive end. Defensively, he’s definitely improved and is strong enough to deny Jordan’s moves in the post. DeAndre will have the advantage if the Clippers get out running, but that might be tough to do going against a team that plays as slowly as the Nets. Unfortunately, though, this question might be irrelevant come the fourth quarter. If Saturday’s game is close at the end, it will most likely be Lamar Odom – and not DeAndre Jordan – who is matching up with Lopez in the post.