Expect the game between the Raptors and Clippers to be a spirited contest. Over at Clippers.com, D.J. Foster is talking about the Raptors having a “whiplash game”, or a bounce back game, after the Raps suffered a humiliating 138-100 beatdown at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. Add to that, the Clippers look to rebound from their frustrating loss to the Lakers last night as well as avenge their defeat to the Raptors back in February.
Keys to the Game
– DeMar DeRozan. He returns to his hometown and Staples Center a month after feeling like he was short changed in the dunk contest. He made his comments to reporters that his dunks were underscored because they didn’t use silly props. Even the announcers have taken to saying “No props!” when he dunks, which intimates that DeRozan hasn’t forgotten the slight. That kind of motivation for a scorer (16.6 points per game, 47.5 percent from the field) could lead to a retribution game.
– Get Eric Gordon going. Normally a paragon of consistency, Eric Gordon has struggled to find his groove. In the four games since his return he has put up 29 points (9 for 20 shooting), 10 points (4 for 11), 32 points (11 for 21) and, last game, 7 points (3 for 14). No surprise that the Clippers lost the games when EJ scored 10 points or fewer, so they’ll need to get him in a rhythm.
– Attack the paint. Clippers are sixth in the league with 42.2 points per game in the paint, and Toronto doesn’t have the most intimidating front court. Ed Davis did post a monster game against the Clippers in February (13 points on 6 for 8 shooting, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks), but that’s far from standard (Davis averages 6.8 points and 6.8 rebounds on the year). The Clippers need to take advantage of their size and strength.
Amir Johnson: sore left ankle, questionable
Reggie Evans: sore right foot, questionable