Team: Chicago Bulls (18-33) at LA Clippers (25-25)
Time: Saturday, February 3, 2017 at 3:30pm ET (Staples Center)
Today is the first time we get to see the new look Clippers in action. While a random 12:30 game against the Chicago Bulls doesn’t seem that important, this game is actually one of the most important games of the season for the Clippers.
Clippers’ season ticket-holders have been incredibly unhappy since the Blake Griffin trade. Their team lost its most important player in franchise history, and the team may start a rebuild. The Clippers went from being two games out of the 6th seed, to most likely missing the playoffs.
The Clippers need to win this game. A win will prove to its fan base that things are going to be alright. That they can trust the organization when it says the team isn’t trying to rebuild.
Luckily for the Clippers, they’re playing the Chicago Bulls. Chicago has lost 5 straight games, is 13th in the east, and dealing with a plethora of injuries. The Bulls are giving up 117.8 PPG during their 5 game losing streak, which is worst in the league.
Here’s how the Clippers can send their fans home happy.
Push the Pace
The Clippers need to play aggressive offense and attack the paint. The Bulls are the 25th defensive team in the league, which is exactly what Los Angeles needs to expose. Even if the Clippers turnover the ball, the Bulls are 28th in the league at scoring off of turnovers (14.0). Los Angeles is the 3rd best team at attacking the paint (49.2), and 10th best at scoring fast break points (13.4). The Clippers need to play their typical style of aggressive interior basketball, and not rely on jump shots.
Prediction: The Clippers will win by 10+ points