Jan. 10, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. PST
Two teams suffering discouraging losses clash on Sunday as the Los Angeles Clippers greet the Chicago Bulls at the Staples Center.
Despite a loss of 18 points in the second half against the Warriors on Friday night, the clips are still an 11.5-point favorite over a Bulls team that brought the Lakers to the wire last time with a narrow two-point loss.
Ability the cops are leaving Hollywood with a split, or are the Clippers planning to quell their frustrations in Chicago?
It’s easy to discard LA’s loss to Steph Curry after scoring 38 points, like a Supernova, including 9 against 14 of three to lead the Dubs to victory. But the Clippers’ offensive also went ice cold, gaining a 64-40 lead in the second half, including just 36 points in the color for the game.
This season, LA is one of three teams that average fewer than 40 points per night in the color and thus occupy a miserable 28th place in the league. That doesn’t matter if their jumpers fall as LA is second in the NBA in three-point shooting with 41.2%.
That skews their offensive rating, which makes them the sixth best in the league, but this edition of the Clippers is for 21st place in the rating and could use some simple buckets.
⚓️ 25 PTS & 7 AST pro @Yg_Trece and 24 PTS & 4 AST pro @ kawhileonard nella sfida tra @LAClippers e Warriors!
Much of their score comes from the bolt wing tandem. Paul George leads the team with 24.7 points per game, along with 6.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists, and Kawhi Leonard averages 23.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists.
But Serge Ibaka and Nic Batum are the only other players who score double digits. Lou Williams, Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris, the top contributors the team relies on, have been sluggishly starting this year either.
It doesn’t seem like the Clippers found their stride on the other end of the floor either. LA ranks 23rd in the defensive standings, although it ranks ninth in terms of points allowed per game with 109.2 points.
Don’t look now, but the Bulls quietly have a talented squad and, above all, one promising future cobbled together.
While the jury is still starring Zach LaVine, he’s looked more explosive and engaged this year on his way to averaging 26 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists per night.
He is flanked by a youthful core led by security guard Coby White, who is second on the team with 18.1 points and 5.5 groschen per game. Stretch-forward Laurie Markkanen averages 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds, although he currently has the COVID protocol and will be out on Sunday.
Wendell Carter is a nice piece in the middle, and he gives the bulls, along with veterans Otto Porter and Thad Young, six players who score double-digit points. Rookie Patrick Williams seems to be another draft pick hit, and he’s got close to 10 points per game a year.
You can definitely fill it in: Chicago is sixth in the NBA, scoring 115 points per night. Unfortunately, Billy Donovan’s defensive unit is still in the works. Chicago is dropping a whopping 120 points per game, which is the fourth worst in the union.
Expect LA to be more focused and bounce back in this game. This would be the seventh game where they would alternate between winning and losing.
However, after a day of rest, the Clippers are only 2-7 against the spread in their last nine. Meanwhile, the Bulls are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four games after losing. Chicago appears to have the knack for holding its own, although they need to properly build their defenses before they rise from the bottom of the east.
The clips should win but they’re a little too fragile to be around 11.5 right now Earning points.
Eric has been in and around the sport since 1997 and is a truly knowledgeable professional. The two-time journalism graduate specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric has been featured in local and national publications.
Having been in and around the sport since 1997, Eric is a truly knowledgeable professional. The two-time journalism graduate specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric has been featured in local and national publications.
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