The Los Angeles Clippers dropped to 8-5 this season after losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night. The Clippers have lost two of their last three games, but are hoping to turn things around when they return home this weekend. They play the Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls in back-to-back afternoon games at the Staples Center. The three-game home stand ends Wednesday night when they face the New York Knicks.
This home stretch is a great opportunity for the Clippers to gain some momentum before heading out on a seven-game road trip in early December. The Clippers offense, which has been red-hot so far this season, was ice-cold Thursday night. They shot a dreadful 28 percent from beyond the arc and 41 percent from the field, way below their season averages. They will undoubtedly shoot better at home, though the competition should not be ignored.
Kings head coach Mike Malone is known as a defensive specialist and he is showing fans in Sacramento why. DeMarcus Cousins is playing better defense, leading the team in rebounds, blocks and steals. He inserted Luc Mbah a Moute, also known as a defensive specialist, into the starting lineup. Last season, they were dead last in opponent’s points per game allowed, but this season they are allowing less than 100 points per game.
The Kings also protect the ball better than any other team in the NBA, averaging a league-low 12.9 turnovers per game. They are going to have to be watchful though, because the Clippers are forcing a league-high 15.4 turnovers per game.
I have a feeling this game is going to be closer than most expect. The Kings have won two straight and the Clippers might be looking ahead to Sunday’s game against the Bulls. It is an early game so the fans should be extra energized for this one.