One immediate thought stayed with me after the Clippers’ moves at the trade deadline: “wow, we have a lot of wings”.
Ty Lue now gets to tinker with a roster stocked with talented wings such as Marcus Morris Sr., Nicolas Batum, Terance Mann, Norman Powell, Robert Covington, Amir Coffey, Luke Kennard, Brandon Boston Jr., and, once they return, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Maybe that’s just the direction the NBA is moving towards, and a having a legion of two-way wings is just the Clippers’ commitment towards a switchable, position-less, small-ball-centric future.
On Monday, to start a formidable back-to-back against the two best teams in the league, these Clippers will be tasked with another team highlighted by wing depth. First up? The Warriors.
When: Monday, February 14 at 7.30 p.m. PT
Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
How to watch/listen: NBA TV, BSSW-DALBSSC; KEGL/KFZOKLAC/KWKW-LAC
Opposing perspective: Golden State of Mind
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Reggie Jackson, Terance Mann, Marcus Morris Sr., Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac
Warriors: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga, Kevon Looney
Clippers: Norman Powell, Jay Scrubb, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Jason Preston — OUT
Warriors: Andre Igoudala — OUT
With Klay Thompson’s return to the roster, the Warriors are a handful for anyone. Per our last meeting, the Clippers are well-accustomed with the potency of Otto Porter Jr.. He’s joined on the wing by Klay Thompson, fresh off a 33 point performance, and newly minted all-star starter Andrew Wiggins, as well as Gary Payton II, Damion Lee, and Jordan Poole. And then there’s the Steph Curry situation. His resume is undeniable, and the Clippers have already experienced a full display of his shooting prowess once this season.
The Warriors are also the top-ranked team in terms of defensive rating and assist percentage, as well as top-three in net rating, effective field goal percentage, and true shooting percentage. As their record might indicate, this is one of, if not the, best team in the league.
The Clippers, however, have proven time and time again that they will not back down from a challenge. Winning just one of these next two games, as well as Thursdays game against the Rockets, would lead to the Clippers surviving an insanely tough 8-game stretch with a 4-4 record.
If the version of the Clippers bench that outplayed the Mavericks shows up, if the Clippers offense can fire on all cylinders, and if the Clippers defense can stay engaged and communicative all game, this game is more than winnable. Much of that will depend on the two-ability of Los Angeles’ wings, and how they match up against their Golden State counterparts. Even with their extensive injury list, Los Angeles has shown their ability to remain competitive. Time and time again, opposing teams commentators have noted how the Clippers will play you hard for all 48 minutes.
Lue and the Clippers look to continue that reputation when they host the Warriors on Monday.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism