Preview: Clippers Welcome LeBron to LA


After a disappointing loss to the Pelicans, the Los Angeles Clippers hope to bounce back as they welcome LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to STAPLES Center.

With a few minutes left, the Los Angeles Clippers held a four-point lead over the Pelicans. And then, just like that, Anthony Davis happened. The MVP candidate put the team on his back, and led them to a triumphant 121-116 victory. After the loss, the Clippers found themselves as the No. 9 seed in the ever-changing western conference playoff picture.

Fast forward to tonight, and the Clips find themselves at No. 8.

For the second time this season, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers will square off. The Cavs got the better of the Clips in the first matchup, defeating them 118-113 in overtime. In the matchup, LeBron finished with a game-high 39 points, to go along with 14 rebounds. A lot has changed since that meeting. Blake Griffin is no longer a Clipper, and nearly half of that Cavaliers team is gone.

Tonight’s Matchup

Tonight’s game is crucial for both teams, as they’re each fighting for playoff seeding. Let’s start with the Cavaliers.

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Cleveland currently sits at 38-26, which is good for the No. 3 seed in the eastern conference. They’re riding a two-game winning streak, and are 6-4 in their last 10 games. However, they currently only have a 1.5 game lead over Washington and Indiana, and a three game lead over Philadelphia. Although the Cavs are a lock for a playoff spot, home-court advantage is on the line, something LeBron James has been accustomed to having over the years.

The Clippers are 34-29, which places them right at No. 8 in the western conference, for now. As we’ve seen, the standings change every night, with each game turning into the ‘most important game of the season’. Tonight is no different for LA. They find themselves only three losses back for the third seed. Though a loss wouldn’t destroy hope for climbing that high, it definitely would most likely rule it out. They’re also a loss back of the No. 5 seed, and are tied in the loss column for the No. 6 and No. 7 seed. To put it into perspective, things are really, really close.

Tonight’s matchup will have major playoff implications. A lot will be at stake for both teams. Let’s hope the Clippers have an answer for King James, who arguably is playing some of the best basketball of his career.