Some NBA teams keep their rosters relatively consistent, while others have risk-taking front offices that enjoy frequently stirring the post. The 28-26 Los Angeles Clippers will visit the 19-38 Brooklyn Nets today in a matchup of two teams that have almost completely new rosters from last season (7:30 p.m. ET Monday).
Los Angeles lost superstar point guard Chris Paul last summer, and it just traded away All-Star Blake Griffin a couple weeks ago. Remaining is a roster with several above-average to very good players, but no true stars. That group has played well as of late, winning 15 of its last 22 games.
Brooklyn has had to rebuild its roster without its first-round picks for the past few years as a result of a fateful trade with the Boston Celtics five years ago. Despite the Nets’ poor record and their current five-game losing streak, they’ve done a solid job of constructing a competitive roster.
Will Los Angeles’ strong play and Brooklyn’s slide continue? This is the first matchup between the two teams this year. Let’s see if we can pinpoint the key variables in this game and then make our betting predictions and picks with the US sports betting firms.
Can the Clippers’ Recent Domination of the Boards Continue?
Both the Nets and Clippers are very mediocre rebounding teams on the whole this year. Neither team has great size on the frontcourt — DeAndre Jordan is fantastic on the glass for Los Angeles, but the Clippers don’t have many others who are tough to box out.
However, the Clippers have recently made an effort to pound the glass harder as a team. They’re out rebounding their opponents by eight rebounds per game in their last four contests. In the seven games prior, opponents were outrebounding Los Angeles by 7.7 boards per game. It’s been a sudden and surprising change.
Brooklyn is definitely not as talented as the Clippers, but it will have an even more difficult time winning this game if Los Angeles outworks it in a key hustle statistic like rebounding.
Can Anyone Step Up to Run Allen Crabbe Off the Three-Point Line?
Crabbe is coming off a career-best two-game stretch on offense for the Nets. He has scored 62 points in his last two contests when he had never even reached 45 points in two consecutive games in his career to date.
Most of Crabbe’s points have come off three-pointers in the pair of games. He is 14-of-32 from downtown (43.8 percent) in the contests, which is very good accuracy. However, the more impressive thing is the fact that he’s gotten off 32 three-point attempts, which is just a massive amount of volume from the outside.
Los Angeles’ perimeter defense has gotten a boost with Austin Rivers back from his injury and Avery Bradley coming over from the Detroit Pistons. They may have reputations as solid defenders, but they need to live up to their reputations today. Crabbe isn’t a star player, but because of his streaky shooting, he is capable of playing like a star at times.
Can Austin Rivers Find His Offensive Rhythm Again?
Rivers was out for about a month and a half recently with an ankle injury. In his final five games before the injury, he averaged 22.8 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 41.9 percent from the three-point line.
Since returning two contests ago, however, the young combo guard has had trouble on offense. He’s averaged 13 points per game, but his percentages have been poor. He is at 40.7 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from three-point range. His father and coach, Doc Rivers, has still played him 32 and 34 minutes in the two games.
Rivers will have a tough test being guarded, in all likelihood, by Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie is defensive-minded and 6’6”, and he will get a hand up to contest most of Rivers’ shots.
Our Preview’s Los Angeles Clippers vs. Brooklyn Nets Betting Picks & Predictions
The Nets are going to be without Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert today. Both are valuable two-way players who boost the starting lineup and bench, respectively. The Clippers have some players out, but they are either small-role players or guys who have been out for a long time.
Los Angeles could run away in this one. Playing on the home versus the road hasn’t made a huge difference for either team this season.
Here are the LA Clippers vs Brooklyn Nets predictions of this betting preview:
- Los Angeles has more potential to win this game by a good margin than the Nets do of winning the game at all. Place your bet on the Clippers -4.5 @ best odds of -110 with 5Dimes or Bookmaker.
- The Nets play really fast, and they especially pick up the pace when they are losing. Los Angeles has the athletes to keep up and will respond by playing fast themselves. Pick this game to go over 218pts @ -115 with Bovada. The points total is a little higher with the other firms.