The Los Angeles Clippers look to wash away an ugly performance last night with a win against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. Anything that the Clippers could have done wrong against the New Orleans Pelicans they did. There was absolutely no chemistry. Bad passes, sloppy dribbling, dropped passes, wide open misses under the rim and from three, and a defense that allowed the bigs of the Pelicans to go wild. An early injury to Serge Ibaka hurt the Clippers. Ibaka played any eight minutes, with the Clippers opting to replace him between Ivica Zubac, Patrick Patterson, and Marcus Morris in the rotation.
Those three looked like they were playing blind folded because none made an impact. The Pelicans were flying around before Ibaka even got injured, so I’m not sure the Pelicans were losing regardless. In any event, Zubac, who played the most minutes with Ibaka out, was useless on both ends of the floor. The athleticism of the Pelicans on the blocks was far too much for the Clippers to handle. The Mavericks don’t pose the same mismatches around the rim tonight, but Kristaps Porzingis is likely going to be a tough matchup.
Kawhi Leonard was visibly frustrated following the 135-115 loss last night. He made it clear that the Clippers have to be more consistent if they’re going to compete for a championship. This is the same team that blew the doors off the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. However, it’s also the same team that was on a three-game losing streak going into the break, and blown out by a sub .500 Pelicans squad. Like Kawhi said, they have to find some consistency. They dropped to 25-15 on the season with the loss, and certainly do not look like a threat in the West at the moment.
That could change, and I’m sure we’re going to see the Clippers go on a run at some point this season. However, from what we’re seeing currently, they are far from playoff form. The Mavericks are coming off a 116-103 win over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. They’re winners in five of their last six outings and feeling confident. The Mavericks enter Monday night with a record of 20-17, and hanging onto the eighth seed in the West. Head below for our free Clippers vs. Mavericks pick on March 15, 2021.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks NBA Betting Odds:
Clippers vs. Mavericks Prediction:
It was an off night for the Clippers in New Orleans, and that’s a massive understatement. While the Pelicans couldn’t miss from three, the Clippers didn’t find any consistency from downtown. It’s uncharacteristic for the Clippers to go 34.9% from beyond the arc. Throughout the season, that has not been the case for the Clippers.
They’ve more often than not been reliable with the three. Overall, the Clippers are shooting 41.7% from the three-point line. That’s good for first in the NBA. The Clippers looked like one of the worst a night ago in New Orleans, though. I suspect that they shoot much better than 34.9% tonight against the Mavericks. The sixth-best defense in the NBA wasn’t present last night either.
The Clippers have been one of the better defensive units in the league, but they got hammered quite easily. There wasn’t much effort in any aspect defensively in New Orleans. Overall, the Clippers are sixth in the NBA with 110 points conceded per game. After the slop in display last night, expect the Clippers to be in better form. The little spiel that Kawhi went on following the loss should resonate with the rest of the team.
Expect more energy offensively as well. They weren’t attacking at all and settling for outside shots throughout the evening against the Pelicans. When that happens, the threes tend to fall at a more effective rate. The Clippers are one of the top teams in the league offensively, with 115.2 points scored per game for sixth. They hit around that last night, but note, a lot of those points came in garbage time, and the Pelicans’ defense is one of the worst in the NBA.
The Mavericks are 20th in the league with 111.9 points per game. With the return of Porzingis, I will say that the Mavericks have been better than their numbers indicate, though. In their previous five outings, the Mavericks have recorded 1112 points per game, while allowing 105 points per game. They have to expect a different Clippers team than last night, though. Look for a much hungrier Clippers squad on Monday evening. That was an embarrassing effort on Sunday. With some more pep in their step, expect the Clippers to clear the Mavericks by 5 or 6 points in Dallas tonight.