Los Angeles Clippers (1-0) @ Dallas Mavericks (1-0)
7:30 p.m. PST
October 29, 2015
Last time they met?
March 13, 2015 — Not to mention the meeting at DeAndre Jordan’s house… The Clippers were crushed 99-129 against the Mavericks. It was near the end of the Infected Elbow Era so Spencer Hawes was starting alongside DJ, but it was Jordan who played the role of stretch five hitting the first 3-pointer of his career. Meanwhile, Jordan Hamilton scored 11 points in in seven minutes off the bench but it was simply no match for the 19-point Charlie Villaneuva cameo.
What’s changed since then?
Well, unless you were living under a rock this summer, a lot. DeAndre Jordan’s Texas two-step saw him keep the Clippers in the championship conversation while the trajectory of the Mavs has taken a deep dive as the team scrambled for front court depth.
It’s the Clippers first official home game of the season. The last time they played a game here at Staples that counted was Game 6 against the Rockets.
AP Photo/ Jae C. Hong
1. It’s DeAndre Jordan’s first game against his almost Dallas Mavericks. What happens?
Kirk Henderson, Mavs Moneyball, (@KirkSeriousFace): DeAndre Jordan shows up, grabs a lot of rebounds, dunks a few times and it’s a game like any other. There will be a lot of fanfare around this game and the others between Dallas and the Clippers, but considering it’s a home game for the Clips and a major player in the saga in Parsons is hurt, this will be just another NBA game.
Law Murray, (@LawMurrayTheNU): DeAndre Jordan is going completely off. He had a relatively light opening night at the California capital, as he was held under 30 minutes due to five fouls. He still had 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, and a monster smash inside of 2:00 on Chris Paul’s 11th assist of the night. Jordan dominated the Mavericks for 17.0 PPG and 20.0 RPG last year, and now they’re starting Zaza Pachulia instead of Tyson Chandler.
Michael Shagrin, (@mshaggy): Curses will be uttered. Hard fouls committed. Free throws missed. But overall, probably not much of a spectacle at Staples. The Clippers are presenting the home crowd with their best roster of the Blake Griffin era. That will, or at least should, be the collective fixation. Sure, the pregame daps won’t be particularly friendly, but shouldn’t everyone be more fiercely antagonistic right before tip off? No? Just me? Ok.
2. What’s the best case scenario for these Dallas Mavericks in 2015-16?
Henderson: Chandler Parsons becomes the first player to ever reasonably recover from a microfracture surgery, Wes Matthews plays 70 games, Dirk Nowitzki keeps being himself and Deron Williams regains a love for basketball and stays healthy. Look, these guys aren’t winning more than 44 games even in the very best case scenario. The West is too good and the Mavs just don’t have the defensive chops to hang with anyone.
Murray: The best case scenario is that the Mavericks shoot the ball exceptionally well. It’s incredible that Wesley Matthews is back hitting threes less than 8 months after tearing his Achilles. I’m amazed by him. So to keep it positive, the Mavericks will rely on several resurgent seasons (and after the injury, Matthews counts) to squeeze into one of the last playoff spots.
Shagrin: Health. Mavs aren’t getting out of the West this season, plain and simple. So the most they can hope for is a healthy core that can act as a magnet for non-DeAndre free agents next summer. But that’s a tall order. Wes Matthews is coming off a busted achilles, the scariest injury in basketball, while the surreptitiously old Chandler Parsons (27) was limited for much of last season due to a bad back and related maladies.
3. First home game for the relaunched Clippers brand: have the new uniforms grown on you? How about the new court design?
Henderson: The uniforms are still not great, but I really have come to like the court design, at least as a concept. How it looks on high definition television and different angles will be interesting but the Clippers have a color palate I trend towards so I’m an easy sell.
Murray: You say “grown on” like one needs to see a dermatologist! This was a necessary departure the Clippers needed to make. But like the 91-92 76ers, this design can certainly be upgraded in short order. I don’t have that much of a problem with the Clippers look, because it’s different. And there’s nothing stopping them from changing it again. And rather quickly.
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