The Brooklyn Nets take on the LA Clippers in an NBA restart game Sunday night in Orlando, Fla.
The Nets are going to be extremely short-handed once again. But this is not a reason to show a lack of belief in them.
Their D team was able to hold off Milwaukee’s backups in the second half last week to secure themselves a signature win against the best club in the NBA.
They’ve experimented with various starting lineups, and it is hard to guess might be in the lineup, or even healthy for this one. But the Nets play hard, as their slogan states.
The Clippers, on the other hand, eked a tight win out against Portland on Saturday. They got by despite no Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley or Montrezl Harrell, and playing a backup unit down the stretch. Of all the players to sink the game-winner against a needy Portland team, it was Rodney McGruder.
The Clippers’ biggest strength is not their star power but their bench and depth. They have several impact players at all five positions, and it was on full display against Portland.
The Clippers are 13-point favorites on Sunday, with the over/under set at 230 points.
Nets Try To Secure Seventh
The Nets can finish no lower than seventh place. They want to make the Magic play against Milwaukee, so they can try and make history against Toronto. Their win over Milwaukee was fantastic, but at full strength, the Bucks would eat the Nets alive.
This is a Nets team without its “stars” as Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen are all doubtful, so several of the new players will get a crack in the lineup again. It is unfortunate that Jamal Crawford suffered a hamstring injury in his team debut, after initially playing well in his time on the floor.
Crawford would have been in line for some significant minutes in this one. But be on the lookout for Donta Hall, who has done some good things for the Nets.
Chris Chiozza can fill it up when he gets the opportunity. Plenty of hungry guys on the Nets team hoping for another upset.
Going For No. 2
The Clippers’ win over Portland was huge, as a loss would have dropped their lead over Denver to just half a game. As it stands now, they would be playing the Mavericks in the opening round of the playoffs in what would be an incredible series. But first, they have to take care of business.
Leonard will re-enter the lineup, though his minute total is not known. Unless the game is close, it would be hard to envision him playing more than 25. And Paul George, who logged 28 minutes against Portland, could find himself with a rest day. Or they’ll play together and try and go up big early on.
The Clippers’ main goal this year is the title, and they won’t settle for anything less, especially with the Lakers being their biggest competition.
Clippers Roll to Big Win
The Nets will scrap and fight all night. But it still won’t be a close game.
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