The Los Angeles Clippers (7-4, 6-1) seek a bounce back game tonight at home, where they have played their best basketball of the year, but will get a tough challenge from the defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks (8-6, 2-4) who also will be looking to right their ship after a recent loss. Playing on back-to-back nights and without their star point guard Chris Paul in the line-up once again, tonight’s game will make for a very interesting match-up, one that will be well worth watch and wagering on at one of the top sportsbooks reviewed on our website.
With Chris Paul (18.0 points, 8.4 assists/game) continuing to deal with a lingering hamstring injury, the Los Angeles Clippers find themselves shorthanded for a game against a tough defensive squad in the Mavericks, and will look to find someone to step up play in the 3rd game of a back-to-back-to-back run of games that started with a Monday night victory over New Jersey, and a follow-up loss to the Utah Jazz in a 108-79 drubbing. Finding an increase in scoring will be job #1 for head coach Vinny Del Negro’s Clippers tonight, and that will start with the whole team shooting better from the floor, and getting superstar Blake Griffin (21.9 points, 11.4 rebounds/game) back into his usual scoring ways. Coming off a terrible night shooting under 37 percent against Utah, which saw Griffin contribute a season-low 10 points on 5-of-12 from the floor, Los Angeles will be tasked with putting up points against the league’s 3rd ranked scoring defense of the Mavericks, who are allowing just 88.5 points per game. As Dallas has had time to rest and stay in Los Angeles after a tough 73-70 loss to the Lakers on Monday night, the Clips simply must find a way to hone in on good shots at home, and move the ball around the perimeter well. Los Angeles does distribute the ball fairly well, averaging 21.5 assists per game, but without Chris Paul and likely without Mo Williams (10.4 points, 4.0 assists/game) as well for tonight’s contest, step-up performances must come from Chauncey Billups (16.0 points, 3.9 assists, who will be tasked with court general duties for LA, and fill-in Randy Foye (7.1 points, 2.0 assists), who will have to step up his shooting (35 percent for the season) in order for the Clippers to contend with the lock-down D of the Dallas Mavericks.
Though Dallas couldn’t muster a victory against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night, their outstanding defense held the Lakers to just 73 points on the evening, and continues to play the best overall D in the league over the past six games, allowing just 76.8 points and under 38 percent shooting to opposing offenses. That bodes well for a visiting game against the short-handed Clippers, who shot a lousy 36.5 percent in Utah, and will be without two of their top shooters this evening. Though Dallas’ defense has been instrumental in keeping them in the win column, and the Mavs have won 5 of their last 6 games, the offense has left a lot to be desired, as it hasn’t been fully able to click after restructuring this offseason. Finding a way to get more scoring out of recent acquisition Lamar Odom (7.0 points, 4.9 rebounds) could be a big addition to the Dallas bottom line, as Odom has seen his production in both scoring and rebounding fall by half compared to last season. It’s not just Odom who needs to improve their offensive form however; leading scorer and NBA Championship MVP Dirk Nowitzki’s production is down by 5 points and almost 3 rebounds a game against his career average, and only one other player in the Dallas line-up (Jason Terry, 14.4 points/game) is averaging in double figures scoring on the season. It’s promising to see that Nowitzki had a much better game Monday night, racking up 21 points and 7 rebounds against the Lakers, but the supporting cast of Jason Kidd (28.8 minutes, 4.7 points, 4.4 assists), Shawn Marion (9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds), Delonte West (7.4 points, 3.6 assists), and Vince Carter (9.5 points, 2.1 assists) all have to step up to help the Mavs put up enough points to stay in contests.
Betting Lines for Dallas vs. Los Angeles Clippers at Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Though Dallas has owned the series against the Los Angeles Clippers historically, winning the last 10 games overall, the Los Angeles Clippers have reshaped their team to be a solid contender this year and could finally be in the proper position to garner a win at home against a Mavs team that has beat them 39 times in the last 48 meetings over 10 years. However, tonight’s match-up couldn’t be a worse time for the Los Angeles Clippers to overcome the Mavericks, as without Chris Paul and Mo Williams in the line-up, the Clips come into tonight’s home meeting as a +125 underdog on the money line, and +2.5 points against the spread (-110 odds). Though Dallas has been struggling to score due to their own shooting woes (21st in the league at 92.6 points/game, just 30.9 percent from 3-point land), their defense remains to be stout enough to stymie even the most potent scorers in the league, and will undoubtedly benefit from not having to cover a star guard like Chris Paul tonight. With both teams struggling to shoot well from the floor, the over/under total points stands at 182 points, expecting that neither team will be able to muster much more than 90 points a side. Especially worth considering is the absence of Paul and Williams for the Clippers, which subtracts almost 30 points from LA’s scoring attack, and will put extra pressure on Chauncey Billups to step up his play. Though Dallas isn’t scoring well, they’re for the most part healthy, rested, and ready to bounce back after a close loss to the Lakers on Monday Night.
Our Pick to Win:
Los Angeles has won the majority of its games (6 of 7 overall) on home court, but missing it’s court general and one of its leading outside shooters in Mo Williams puts the Clippers at a tough disadvantage in a game that will require good shooting in the face of great defense in order to pull out a win. As the Clippers are allowing 96.8 points per game to opposing teams, Dallas could find a resurgence in production in tonight’s road match-up, at least enough so that their stingy defense can keep the Mavs on top tonight. Expect a continuation of rough shooting on tonight’s game as both teams struggle a bit to knock down shots, but we’ll side with Dallas to cover the points spread at -2.5 set at Oddsmaker Sportsbook, pulling out a win on the road for just the 3rd time in 7 tries on the year, beating Los Angeles 94-88.