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Nets host new-look Clippers at Barclays

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Philadelphia 76ers V Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

It would’ve been one for the history books. The Brooklyn Nets found themselves in a 28- point hole against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday evening. Normally that would be the end of the story, but the Nets fought all the way back and had a chance to win in the final seconds of overtime. However, a missed foul call in those final seconds and a second overtime doomed Brooklyn as the Pels pulled away in double overtime. Can’t let yourself fall behind by a billion and expect to steal wins.

The opponent this evening will be the Los Angeles Clippers. Amazingly, the Clips have managed to stay in playoff contention despite losing Chris Paul over the summer and his replacement, Patrick Beverley, to injury earlier this year. And that’s before we even get to the Blake Griffin trade. The Clippers had won their last three games going into Saturday’s schedule, but wound up losing to the 76ers in Philly.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

Caris Levert and Rondae Hollis Jefferson are out.

Milos Teodosic is questionable.

The game

LA’s looking different these days. They moved Blake Griffin on January 30, sending him to Detroit in the biggest single deal before the trade deadline. The Clippers acquired two starters in forward Tobias Harris and guard Avery Bradley. They also received backup center Boban Marjanovic, a 2018 first-round pick and a 2019 second-rounder.

Harris is averaging 18 points a game along with 6.3 rebounds along with two assists since joining the Clips. Bradley is at 8.5 and 5.3.

The trade was one of two well-chronicled Clipper news items of late. I know it happened a month ago, but the Rockets going through a secret tunnel to try and scrap with the Clippers is still and will always be hilarious. Also, Austin Rivers saying “Let his bitch ass come in” in reference to Trevor Ariza while Ariza was being held back by his Rockets teammates is the best thing that happened in the NBA this season. God bless this wonderful, silly league.

Back-to-back good ones from Allen Crabbe. After setting a season high in points with 34 on Wednesday, he tied his career high in three pointers made with eight on Saturday. Crabbe finding his shot from deep is crucial for Kenny Atkinson’s guys and will help them remain competitive. And with the Nets’ bad tendency to fall behind, having a steady three point shooter will keep them close. Crabbe will get to chase Lou Williams around. Lou might be the biggest surprise of the season and his excellent play was recently rewarded with a three year contract extension. Over at Clips Nation, Robert Flom wrote:

When people think of Lou Williams, they think of a volume scorer, a guy with a shoot first mentality. And there’s no denying that Lou likes to get his shots up. At the same time, he’s a terrific passer and playmaker, and has developed a great connection with several Clippers’ big men on pick and rolls. He is more than willing to make the extra pass, and can at times even be too unselfish, passing up semi-open looks to give weaker offensive players the ball. He’s averaging almost 5 assists a game, and is doing so without actually bringing the ball up the court much of the time. He’s no Milos Teodosic as a passer, but that aspect of his game is certainly underrated by most people.

I wonder how D’Angelo Russell is going to look tonight. He played 31:35 on Saturday, his third highest total of the season and most since mid November. If I had to guess, I would figure DLo plays around 25 minutes tonight.

Player to watch: DeAndre Jordan

Who knew DJ would be the last Lob City member standing? Jordan almost got traded to the Cavaliers at the deadline, but nothing came of it. As it stands, the Clips will continue to employ one of the league's premier rebounders and shot blockers. DJ is currently second in the league in rebounding rate and has been top ten in blocks for the past couple of years. He's also good money in pick and roll situations and has improved to become a meh free shooter instead of an all time bad one.

Jarrett Allen will be the man to watch for Brooklyn tonight. He got an education in 40 lessons Saturday as Anthony Davis taught him what it’s like to be a dominant NBA center. Atkinson later went small with Quincy Acy and newcomer Dante Cunningham trying to handle Davis. It worked a bit better.

Monday, Allen will be up against the premier lobs-and-blocks big. Here’s hoping he’s able to use the 17 minutes of tutoring he got from Davis to up his game.

From the Vault

We’ve got a double play. First up, let’s revisit the 2011 Dunk Contest

And get ready for Valentine’s Day with an all time dirty mack anthem from Ms. Whitney Houston.

More reading: Clips Nation