NBA Preseason Preview: Los Angeles Clippers (0-1) at Portland Trail Blazers (0-2)


Who: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers
When: 6:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. EST)
Where: Moda Center — Portland, Oregon


Despite dropping the preseason opener to the Warriors, there isn’t much to harp on in regards to the Clippers. It’s unclear how much effort the key guys are putting into these matchups, and like the rest of the games up until October 30th, they don’t count.

Going up against the Blazers, this game is destined to be entertaining as long as the starters and regular rotation players are up against each other. You’ve two of the best power forwards in Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge and  two of the most exciting point guards in Chris Paul and Damian Lillard. That alone makes this worth paying attention to despite the result being meaningless.

Outside of that, an attention to detail will be important here. Can the Clippers create a consistent offense, one that was nowhere to be found versus Golden State. More importantly, can they do it when Chris Paul and/or Blake Griffin isn’t on the floor. Can they consistently defend? What will the rotations be? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Things to Watch

Small Forward, Small Forward, Small Forward

Going into tonight’s game, Doc Rivers failed to inform who would be starting at small forward versus the Trail Blazers. Last game it was Matt Barnes, but with Doc attempting to see what each player can do with the starting unit, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him switch it up.

The battle to keep an eye on here is Chris Douglas-Roberts versus Reggie Bullock. Since Rivers has yet to reveal a starter and tossed out the nugget that Barnes is capable of playing with the first or second unit, it’s fair to assume that the starting position is up for grabs. And both players can get the job meaning someone has to come out on top.

My suggestion would be to put them in one room with a broken pool stick Joker style and let them sort it out, but their on-the-court play will do just fine.

Blake Griffin jump shot

If you took one thing from the Warriors game, it was Blake Griffin’s jumps hot. Not only did it go down, but it looked normal, having less hitch than last years version.

Now the question is whether Griffin can sustain efficiency from range. Is he gonna be 6-of-8 every night? That seems doubtful unless the Clippers somehow extracted the DNA of Dirk Nowitzki and fused it into Griffin’s blood, but the more consistent Griffin is from range, the better he becomes as a player… and that’s always a great thing.

Joe Ingles

As the rest of you should, I’m highly interested in what this guy can do for the Clippers. Considering the lack of certainty at small forward, all options should be surveyed throughout the postseason to see what’s in the deck of cards, and Ingles could later reveal himself as one of those guys who just works.

With Ingles, the obvious is there: he’s a good three-point shooter and possesses the build to be an effective small-ball power forward (the only thing keeping him from having a leg up on Hedo Turkoglu is him being a rookie). But if Doc’s words of Ingles being able to ‘make things happens’ reigns true, he’s the kind of guy you want on the floor.

Against the Warriors, Ingles only received 2 minutes of playing time, so hopefully we get to see more of the Aussie tonight.

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