The LA Clippers will square off against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday before heading home for a six-game homestand. They were blown away by the Memphis Grizzlies in their last game. So they'll now go all out for a bring-home win against the Pelicans.
Despite the loss, the Clippers are still one of the hottest teams in the NBA at the moment, going 8-2 in their last ten games. Ty Lue’s team just could not get over the hump in Memphis before Ja Morant put them out of their misery.
The Clippers are ranked second in defensive rating coming into this game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Paul George and the rest of the team will rely once more on their suffocating defense to get away with a win.
Meanwhile, new head coach Willie Green will have his work cut out when the New Orleans Pelicans take on the surging LA Clippers. New Orleans are only one win ahead of the Houston Rockets for the worst record in the NBA at the moment. They are only 1-6 on their home floor this season, which will likely make this game another tough one for the struggling Pelicans.
The New Orleans Pelicans are near the bottom of the league in the offensive rating category. They will need to execute their plays with precision and determination, or it could result in another disappointing loss.
LA Clippers Injury Report
Franchise player Kawhi Leonard continues to be out, as he is recovering from a partial tear in his right knee. Jason Preston also has no timeline for a return after undergoing foot surgery recently.
Keon Johnson (ankle), Marcus Morris Sr. (knee), Justise Winslow (personal) and Serge Ibaka are among the other names on the Clippers’ injury report. Meanwhile, Nicolas Batum remains doubtful to play because of Achilles heel soreness.
New Orleans Pelicans Injury Report
Zion Williamson is still out, as he is recovering from a right foot fracture. Daulton Hommes has a right fibular stress fracture.
LA Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans: Predicted Lineups
With most of their big men and wing players out, the Clippers could roll out another small lineup. The partnership of veterans Reggie Jackson and Eric Bledsoe should get another crack in the backcourt.
Amir Coffey, who will likely take Nic Batum’s place if the latter is not playing, could be the small forward. MVP contender Paul George should then move over to the power forward position beside Ivica Zubac, who will play center.
New Orleans Pelicans
The LA Clippers’ small ball starting unit might get a token of likeness from the New Orleans Pelicans. Jonas Valanciunas, who has been impressive this season, could be the center and the lone big man in the Pelicans' lineup.
Devonte’ Graham could resume quarterbacking the plays with Neil Alexander-Walker as the shooting guard. Josh Hart could slide into the small forward role alongside superstar Brandon Ingram as the power forward.
LA Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans: Starting 5s
Point Guard - Reggie Jackson | Shooting Guard - Eric Bledsoe | Small Forward - Amir Coffey | Power Forward - Paul George | Center - Ivica Zubac.
New Orleans Pelicans
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Point Guard - Devonte’ Graham | Shooting Guard - Neil Walker-Alexander | Small Forward - Josh Hart | Power Forward - Brandon Ingram | Center - Jonas Valanciunas.