Kyrie Irving will not suit up for the Nets. Fans are hoping his return is close; aka any day now. While the Clippers will be without Kawhi Leonard.
Brooklyn, who has won 3 of their last 4, will look to keep the momentum going in Los Angeles on the back of Kevin Durant who is playing out of his mind right now. In a good way, of course.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (5-7) at Los Angeles Clippers (7-5)
WHEN: 4:00 p.m. est
WHERE: YES Network (tv & app), WFAN-FM (radio)
Exposed is an obvious, but potentially fatal flaw of the roster: The offense doesn’t make sense without a healthy Kawhi. The ball sticks (3rd-last in assist rate), they don’t get to the line (7th-worst FT rate), and they continually lose the possession battle because the Clips turn the ball over and don’t get offensive rebounds. It’s a tough combination that all adds up to the NBA’s 29th-ranked offense. No, they shouldn’t be that putrid without Kawhi, but his absence certainly doesn’t help.
Thankfully for Ballmer’s Boys, it’s the inverse story on defense. NBA.com has them at with the third-best defensive rating on the young season, led by some stout rim protection whether they’re playing big, with Ivica Zubac, or small, without him. Zubac is a brick wall inside, facing 19 shots a game and allowing them to go in at just a 41% rate. Meanwhile, their big wings like Paul George and Robert Covington, even smaller guys like Norman Powell, have been excellent coming over and contesting shots in help. How that plays against a Nets team that, on this hot streak, has been manufacturing more shots inside, we’ll see. But that’s certainly the area of the court to look out for.
For more on the Clippers, check out Clips Nation.