The battle of the East and West Coast C teams takes place in a semi-important prime time match-up tonight. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers are currently 45-22 and 40-29 on the season, so for both teams, a win would certainly be great for their respective franchises.
It is important around this time of year to give it all you’ve got before heading into the playoffs.
It’s a #WestCoastCavs GAMEDAY!
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) March 18, 2017
The Clippers have lost three straight games, two of them being at home. With those losses, they now only sit a half game up on the Oklahoma City Thunder, who face the Sacramento Kings today at 3 p.m. Should they win and the Clippers lose, there would be a tie.
It will be interesting to see how this will play out because the teams have split their four meetings this season. The Clippers won the most recent match-up back in January. Meanwhile, the Clippers are not looking that great as of late, and would need production from their star point guard in Chris Paul.
J.J. Redick expressed that he does not know what to expect from this team anymore and it is certainly alarming.
Redick: “I don’t know what to expect from this team anymore. We’re in a bad place right now. … We’ve been s*** since the All-Star break.”
— Bill Oram (@billoram) March 17, 2017
But this is familiar territory for the Clippers, as they have been in this same exact situation for the sixth year in a row. A culture change should definitely be in the works for this franchise.
The Cavaliers have won two straight at home, improving to 28-7 (currently the 3rd best in the NBA), but now face a four-game road slate with three straight in the West. Fortunately for the Cavaliers, they have won the last four out of five meetings, including seven out of nine at Staples Center.
“King James” has not been having an MVP season like Russell Westbrook and James Harden, but he has scored 20 straight points in 12 straight games against the Clippers.
Keys for the Clippers
Los Angeles must get back to winning. Plain and simple. They don’t seem to want to play basketball anymore, and it is definitely showing. They have to make sure not to get into foul trouble early and make shots when they have open looks, because the Cavaliers are 5th in the league in offense. They are 2.5 point favorites in this game tonight.
Keys for the Cavaliers
Cleveland is 18th in defense, an area where Clippers are solid, so they have to make sure Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan stay contained and keep them away from the free throw line. This game has the capability of being an explosive match-up, but one can only dream.
The Cavs and Clippers face off tonight in their final meeting on ABC. Tip-off is at 8:30.