The Los Angeles Clippers have been hit by the injury bug recently, but it looks like they are on the verge of catching a few breaks. For one it appears as though the team will get their best player back for their tilt with the Miami Heat as Chris Paul is rumored to be ready to return from a knee issue (CP3 article is HERE). LAC is also hopeful that any/all of Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford, and Chauncey Billups could return tonight too. Other potentially good news for the Clippers is that the Heat have a flu bug going through their team and it looks like Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and Ray Allen will all miss tonight’s second and final match-up of these teams this season (In November the Clippers beat the Heat 107-100 in LA).
The Clippers are a legit title contender so they are not a team that needs their opponents to be weakened, but they are in the midst of a long road trip and without Paul they are scuffling so they will welcome the idea that the Heat could be without a combined 49.1 points per game, 14.9 rebounds per game, and 7.8 assists per game tonight.
In that November Clipps/Heat game Bosh and Wade were terrible, but Allen shot the ball very well off the bench. In his career Bosh averages 21.6 points per game and 10+ boards vs the Clippers, Wade averages a whopping 25.4 points vs the Clippers, and Allen averages 22+ vs LAC. Sure Allen’s best days are behind him, but he has shot the 3-ball extremely well in his career vs the Clippers.
The Clippers recent struggles, plus the surge from the Denver Nuggets has the Clipps in danger of being caught by George Karl and his crew, plus the Memphis Grizzlies are right behind them so the current no.3 seed Clippers could be in danger of falling out of a top-4 spot which would be a surprise and would take them out of home court advantage in the playoffs. Vinny Del Negro cannot be pleased with his teams results the past two weeks but timing may work out for them tonight as they appear to be healthier than they have been in weeks while the Heat are under the weather.