One of the biggest NBA games on December 27th is the Western Conference matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and the LA Clippers. These two teams faced each other in last season's playoffs, and many analysts speculated that had it not been for Kristaps Porzingis' game one ejection and injury, the Dallas Mavericks would have beaten the LA Clippers.
This season, the LA Clippers have won their first two games while the Dallas Mavericks are off to an 0-2 start. Luka Doncic is still looking for help from his Dallas teammates, and that should be even more evident Sunday as the LA Clippers' point guard, Patrick Beverly, is a fierce defender. On the other side, 7-footer Serge Ibaka might dominate this game due to the continued absence of Kristaps Porzingis.
Best Starting 5 between the Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers
The game features several elite players and they face no real matchups as there aren't many players to challenge the stars in their positions. The combined starting 5 of the Dallas Mavericks vs LA Clippers game is fairly obvious, so without ado, let's take a look at the best starting 5 between the Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers.
Point Guard - Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
The 21-year-old phenom, Luka Doncic has taken the NBA by storm. He has broken several NBA regular season and playoff records and was named to the NBA All-Star team in just his second year. Doncic is one of the most gifted scorers and passers in the game. Analysts have even gone as far as describing him as a mix of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
The Dallas Mavericks' early season lies in the hands of the Slovenian player as Kristaps Porzingis is rehabbing from his knee injury; any hopes of victory against the LA Clippers will again be on Doncic's shoulders.
Shooting Guard - Paul George (LA Clippers)
Paul George was the obvious choice for this position in the combined starting 5. George is a six-time All-Star and is one of the best defensive guards in the league with four All-Defensive selections. He led the league in steals in 2019.
Paul George is an elite scorer and defender; he recently exploded for 33 points on 72% shooting against the reigning champion LA Lakers on opening night. After a disappointing playoff performance last season, Paul George is looking to redeem himself this season and help secure the LA Clippers' first title.
Small Forward - Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers)
Just like his star teammate Paul George, Kawhi Leonard was also the obvious choice for this position. Several analysts have called him arguably the best two-way player in the league. However, after a disappointing postseason exit last season, Kawhi Leonard is looking to redeem himself.
Kawhi Leonard is one of the few players to win multiple Finals MVPs under different franchises (2014 San Antonio Spurs and 2019 Toronto Raptors) and is also a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. He took a severe blow to his face during his last game and was escorted out. He needed eight stitches and even though head coach Tyronn Lue says he will be okay, Kawhi Leonard might miss the game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Power Forward - Nicolas Batum (LA Clippers)
Nicolas Batum is the LA Clippers' latest acquisition from the offseason. After Montrezl Harrell left the team to join the crosstown rival LA Lakers, the LA Clippers needed a replacement. Nicolas Batum has been great so far, even posting a double-double in the LA Clippers' last game against the Denver Nuggets.
Nicolas Batum is a smart defender with a knack for being in the right position at the right time. He is also a great playmaker with the ability to make crisp passes and evade defenders with his ball-handling.
Center - Serge Ibaka (LA Clippers)
The Dallas Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis would have been the easy choice for the center position, but due to his injury and absence, Serge Ibaka is the next best choice. Serge Ibaka joined his former teammate, Kawhi Leonard, when the LA Clippers signed him in the NBA Free Agency 2020.
Serge Ibaka can space the floor and provide critical passes, which makes him a threat during high pick-and-rolls. He dropped 15 points, six rebounds and a block in his LA Clippers debut.Published 27 Dec 2020, 02:02 IST