Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks
American Airlines Center
5:30 p.m. PST
February 9, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket/ NBATV
Video of the Day
“Too much Monta!”
1. True or False: The Mavericks’ bench is worse than the Clippers’.
Kirk Henderson, Mavs Moneyball, (@kirkseriousface): False, but it’s a pretty good argument. The Clippers have the better first player off the bench for either team in Jamal Crawford, but I think the Dallas bench is just a tad more usable. Dahntay Jones was on this very Maverick team a while back and I must admit I’m shocked every time I see that Hedo Turkoglu is still in the NBA. Then again Charlie Villanueva and Richard Jefferson get minutes for the Mavs. Ugh.
Andy Liu, (@AndyKHLiu): Even assuming that Blake Griffin isn’t out for long, therefore shifting Spencer Hawes back to the bench, the Dallas Mavericks have a deeper and more versatile bench. The Los Angeles Clippers can seriously only offer Jamal Crawford as a scorer and Hawes as a stretchy big. Beyond that, it’s a guessing game. At least Devin Harris, Al-Farouq Aminu, Charlie Villanueva, and Greg Smi–ahh, man, this is not so good for both sides. It also doesn’t help that Rivers doesn’t have the patience to allow young players to develop.
Brandon Tomyoy, (@dingyu): Absolutely false. Not only does the Mavs bench average more points at 34.2 points a game to the Clippers’ 31.9, but they also rank higher on overall offensive and defensive efficiency. While the Dallas bench is not the juggernaut that once averaged over 40 a night in the early part of the decade, the Mavs generally tend to get great bench production as Rick Carlisle is one of the better coaches in knowing how to get the most out of his players.
2. If Amar’e Stoudemire pursues a buy-out, who could use his services more: the Mavericks or the Clippers?
Henderson: Probably the Clippers, because a length of time without a player as important as Blake Griffin means Doc Rivers is going to be looking at a patchwork of solutions until he returns. That means options and Amar’e would be a pretty good one, because some nights Spencer Hawes isn’t going to cut it (cue laughter). Dallas could use him too, but I’m hearing Jermaine O’Neal is a certainty.
Liu: Clippers. Amar’e doesn’t fit into the Mavericks offense but one could have said the same for Rajon Rondo. At least for Doc Rivers, he can do his isolation stuff and hit midrange jumpers off Chris Paul PNRs. It’d be a nice pickup for a bench devoid of talent.
Tomyoy: The Clippers. LAC is already shorthanded in their frontcourt with Spencer Hawes mired in an off year so far, and the possibility of missing Blake Griffin for a few weeks only exacerbates the issue. When even the players have been joking that they don’t have the options they need in their frontcourt to win games, it becomes fairly obvious how much of a need that they have for Amar’e should he become available.
3. It’s the last game of the Grammy’s Road Trip for the Clippers, just how bad has this trip been?
Henderson: Pretty terrible. Losing streaks are going to happen in a long season, but running into one before the All Star Break paired with losing your best player? Unless the Clippers can right the ship with wins over the Mavericks and Rockets, the long break might be pretty challenging for Clipper fans.
Liu: Five losses in six games is not good but they’re still 5 games ahead of the eighth-seeded Phoenix Suns at the last playoff spot. The upcoming schedule is bad but these are all tough opponents the Clippers will have to beat sooner or later. They’re good enough so barring a total collapse (think 7 losses out of 8), they should still be fine.