Team: Los Angeles Clippers (5-8) at Cleveland Cavaliers (8-7)
Time: Friday, November 17, 2017 at 7:30 PM ET (Quicken Loans Arena)
The LA Clippers will head to the Quicken Loans Arena to snap their 6 game losing streak tonight. The foes standing in their way – just Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Defeating the Cavaliers may be an incredibly daunting task for the shorthanded Clippers, who are still missing 3 starters: Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari, and Milos Teodosic. However, miracles do happen, as the Clippers defeated the Cavaliers at home last year. In fact, it was the first time in Clippers’ history that they defeated Lebron James on his home court. While the Cavs have struggled this season, they’re currently on a 3 game winning streak. Here’s what the Clippers need to do win tonight.
Despite a 3 game winning streak, the Cavs still have the worst defense in the league (113.1 Def Rtg). The Clippers need to make decisive attacks to the basket and expose this weak defense. Last game against the 76ers, the Clippers played that proper offensive game. However, their late game offense consisted of indecisive ISO play. The Cavs have a tendency to play down to their competition, losing to the: Knicks, Hawks, and Pacers by a combined 52 points. Los Angeles needs to play without fear and expose Cleveland’s deficiencies.
The Cavs are still an offensive powerhouse. Even though they’re a bottom defense, they are top 5 offensive team at 110.1 points a game. The Cavs especially showed this in their 23 point comeback win against the New York Knicks, where Cleveland netted a 43 point fourth quarter. During that comeback, the Cavs had 14 offensive rebounds and 56 rebounds total. The Clippers cannot allow the Cavs to have any second chance looks, Cleveland is simply too good offensively to allow that. You may not be able to stop Lebron James, but you can box out. Tristian Thompson will not be playing tonight, so Deandre Jordan needs to have a big game on the boards.
The Final Clip: Tonight’s game may seem like a difficult task for the Clippers, but it’s possible to win. The Clippers need to play aggressive offense and need to control the glass in order to win tonight.