Clippers have early challenge against a rising star
The Los Angeles Clippers enter the postseason as one the deepest teams in the NBA and possible favorites to emerge from the West. Montrezel Harrell and Lou Williams will need to get back up to speed on the fly. Both players have missed multiple games in the bubble.
Doc Rivers’s primary goal will be implementing a variety of defensive schemes to slow down the Dallas Mavericks’ upcoming star, Luka Doncic. Clippers’ big man Ivica Zubac’s development inside is key as the Mavericks are ranked 28th in rebounding. Second-chance points and setting up on the defensive end will be key for controlling the pace.
Former Euro-league MVP Luka Doncic looks to make his first playoff appearance. It will be interesting to see if the Clippers use perimeter traps to get the ball out of his hands or play man.
His consistency to find the open man or make the winning basketball play will make it tough for any defense to contain.
Undoubtedly, Kristaps Porzingis would shoulder more offensive responsibility in the event Doncic has a bad game. He’s been rejuvenated since joining the Mavericks. Porzingis is quietly averaging close to 30 and 10 shooting 45% from the field in the bubble
The Mavericks will look to test its league-leading offense against the Clippers fifth-ranked defense. The problem with that scenario is that the Clippers are ranked a slot behind them offensively.
I wouldn’t expect a ton of defense in this match-up seeing how the Clippers have been a bit out of sync in the bubble.
On the other hand, the Mavericks have seemed to found their stride with Luka playing out of his mind. Kawhi Leonard is on a mission to win another franchise its first championship in back to back seasons.
Every game should be a thriller but it would be foolish to expect anything other than a Clippers series win.
My Prediction? Clippers in 6
(2) Clippers vs (7) Mavericks West First Round Schedule
|Game 1||DAL @ LAC||ESPN||8/17/20 | 9:00 PM EST|
|Game 2||DAL @ LAC||TNT||8/19/20 | 9:00 PM EST|
|Game 3||LAC @ DAL||TNT||8/21/20 | 9:00 PM EST|
|Game 4||LAC @ DAL||ABC||8/23/20 | 3:30 PM EST|
|Game 5||DAL @ LAC||*TBD If Needed|
|Game 6||LAC @ DAL||*TBD If Needed|
|Game 7||DAL @ LAC||*TBD If Needed|