Los Angeles Clippers at Miami Heat
4:00 p.m. PST
November 7, 2013
1. Can the Clippers contain LeBron James with the way they’ve been playing defense lately?
Jovan Buha, (@jovanbuha): No. The way the Clippers are currently defending, LeBron could easily go for 40 points and 10 assists tonight (especially with Matt Barnes potentially out). I’m not too worried about the Clippers’ one-on-one defense on LeBron, though, so much as their inability to defend three pointers (which he’ll create a ton of with his drive-and-kicks) and box out high-energy players.
Dylan Rice-Leary, (@dylearium): Nope. No Barnes. No Chance. No point, really. The Clippers might be able to contain the other members of the Heat, but LeBron ought to have the advantage, as usual.
D.J. Foster, (@fosterdj): No. That’s not an indictment of the Clippers’ defense, but more of an acknowledgement that LeBron James will do whatever he wants to do. I don’t think there’s anyone who will serve as anything more than a mild annoyance to LeBron, and the guy who could probably do that best for the Clippers might not play.
2. Was Wednesday night’s poor shooting performance an aberration or does it mean something?
Buha: To quote the great philosopher Andrew Han from last night’s CBL, “a little bit of both”. Jordan missed a bunch of chippies around the rim, and Paul and Redick cooled down from their insane shooting – both aberrations, to an extent. But is Collison, Green and Mullens going 0-for-10 really a surprise at this point? I don’t have much confidence in the bench, I guess.
Rice-Leary: It was more aberration than anything – though I doubt this will be the last time we see such meager bench production.
Foster: Aberration. We have years and years of data that suggests the Clippers will be an extremely good shooting team this year. Let that be your blanket on a chilly night, gang.
3. What do the Clippers have to do to win this game?
Buha: I gave it away in my first answer – defend the 3-point line and rebound. The Clippers’ wing crop has to do a better job of rotating down when opposing bigs dive and either contest them at the rim or box them out. And, of course, if they fail to rotate crisply on the perimeter, Miami’s shooters will torch them.
Rice-Leary: Sacrifice a live chicken?
Foster: Don’t over-help. I’m a firm believer in staying home on Miami’s shooters as much as possible, as difficult as that can be. Make LeBron get 50 and carry the scoring load, but don’t let that death by a thousand needles offense get tons of free looks. Easier said than done, though.
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