As tough road trips go, two days in Los Angeles to play back-to-back games doesn’t exactly qualify. It was 75 degrees and sunny in LA today. Minnesotans will get the season’s first taste of single digits tonight. Let us move on…
Clippers’ probable starting lineup:
PG Chris Paul
SG JJ Redick
SF Jared Dudley
PF Blake Griffin
C DeAndre Jordan
The Clips are returning home after a three-game road trip saw them lose in Orlando and Miami before winning by 13 in Houston. Leading the league in scoring (110 points a game) while giving up the fourth most (over 106 a game), new coach Doc Rivers has built Jordan up as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and while his defensive presence can be debated with various stats and the veracity of Doc’s claim can be as well, the amount of rope Doc has given DeAndre cannot be debated as Jordan is playing a career high 37 minutes a game through 7 games.
Wolves’ probable starting lineup:
PG Ricky Rubio
SG Kevin Martin
SF Corey Brewer
PF Kevin Love
C Nikola Pekovic
Depth at center is an issue for the Clips as well as the Wolves as Ryan Holins backs up Jordan and Antawn Jamison backs up Griffin. Byron Mullens is in the mix there, too, but the perimeter backups Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes and Darren Collison get the most minutes off the bench. Should Love or Pek get Jordan or Griffin into foul trouble, they could have a strong advantage with their front line.
The Clips’ big acquisitions, Redick and Dudley were on many of the Wolves fans’ wish list. Martin and Brewer have done a great job making Minnesotans forget that so far. Redick is shooting 36% and Dudley is shooting 41% from three this season on over 9 attempts between them–and Crawford is putting up 5.6 attempts a game at 46%. If the Wolves don’t get to the line or starter fatigue becomes an issue the way it did in Cleveland, they won’t need a reminder.
You can still find Timberwolves vs. LA Clippers tickets here!