Game Preview: Clippers look for revenge against Bucks

Mar 3, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; LA Clippers center Marreese Speights (5) tries to calm guard Chris Paul (3) after Paul receives a technical foul in the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; LA Clippers center Marreese Speights (5) tries to calm guard Chris Paul (3) after Paul receives a technical foul in the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The Clippers look to bounce back and get back to their winning ways, as they welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to Staples Center.

Monday night was a tough one, there’s no getting around that. The Clippers (40-27) played a great first half, but you need to play two half’s in basketball. The Jazz (42-25) put up 65 points in the second half. Having allowed an average of only 73.5 points in the previous two games, the Clippers defense just couldn’t contain Utah’s scorching offense.

But one of the best things about basketball is that you get to play another game, and that is what the Clippers will do this evening. The Clippers welcome the Milwaukee Bucks (32-34).

If it feels like it’s been awhile since the Bucks won a game at Staples, that’s because it has been. The Bucks haven’t won a game at Staples Center since December 4th, 2007. The leading scorer for the Bucks was Michael Redd, and the leading scorer for the Clippers was Corey Maggette. That feels like a bit of a history lesson. Hopefully, we can keep it that way.

The Bucks got the edge in the first match-up of the season, defeating the Clippers 112-101. An overall frustrating game, the Clippers found themselves in the middle of a very difficult stretch of games. Although losing a game in which it felt they never had a chance (aside from a run late in the third quarter), the Clips overall played a surprisingly good game.

They had a higher field goal and three-point percentage than Milwaukee, as well as nearly 20 more rebounds. They also shot more free throws and made more free throws. So how is it, with the edge in all these stats, did they manage to lose?


The Clippers had a whopping 23 turnovers in that match-up, which is a relatively low number considering they had 16 in the first half alone. The Bucks won the game due to their ability to capitalize off of those turnovers. They outscored the Clippers 41-12 in points off of turnovers. In the six games since the two teams met, the Clippers have averaged under 13 turnovers a game, including an impressive six in Utah a few nights ago. The Clippers are currently 9th in turnovers per game (12.7) so if they have any chance in winning tonight, that is the first key. The Bucks are a young, fast, and athletic team, and they will seize the opportunity if given so many chances.

The Bench

In the last meeting, Blake and CP3 both went for 20, DeAndre had a double-double, and J.J. had 10/4/4. Great numbers from your starters. However, it was the starters that essentially had anything to do with that game. Not a single bench player scored in double digits, and only two players had a positive +/-, Welsey Johnson and Brandon Bass, who combined to play 10 minutes between the two of them. The Bucks bench had 50 points that night.

The Bucks are fifth in the NBA in bench scoring (39.5) and the Clippers are right behind them (39.0). Both these teams have players who are capable of lighting it up, but the Clippers need to see contributions if they want to see a win this evening.

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Austin Rivers is having a career year all across the boards, but he needs to have a much better performance than he did the last go around with the Bucks. He only scored eight points in 27 minutes of play, to go along with four turnovers. Being guarded by the likes of Matthew Dellavedova and Jason Terry, Rivers needs to take control of the second unit.

Jamal has been finding his stroke as of late, and Felton and Speights have both been contributing nicely, but it would be great to see some contribution from either Wesley Johnson or  Brandon Bass. Usually getting different calls each night, it’s tough to remember when either one of them scored in double figures, or played a crucial role during their minutes with the second unit. Both these players are more than capable of impacting the game in their respective areas, but with a bench as deep as the Clippers’ is, they need to find a way to catch themselves in a groove that can not only help them win tonight, but win moving forward.


There’s a lot that the Clippers need to work on in order to secure this victory. I didn’t even mention the “Greek Freak” in Giannis Antetokounmpo who is arguably one of the fifteen best players in the game. He went for 24 points, five rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and two blocks in the last game. He’s one of the toughest players to guard in the NBA, and hopefully the Clippers will be able to contain him.

The Bucks are currently in the 8th seed in the eastern conference, but only half a game separates them from falling out of the picture, and only one-and-a-half games separates them from the sixth seed. A lot can still change for this young Bucks team. They’ve beaten the Clippers once, and they are more than looking towards beating them again. Already having fallen two games behind the Jazz, it’s crucial to pick up a win and start making up ground, or the Clippers can find themselves losing grip of home court advantage.

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