How Good Are the Clippers? Billy Talks Pat, DJJ Probable, More

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How Good Are the Clippers? Billy Talks Pat, DJJ Probable, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

The Los Angeles Clippers are 4th in the West and have won five of their last six games. So, of course, I fully expect the Bulls to beat them and then lose to the 14th-place Hornets again on Thursday.

*Mandalorian voice* This is the way.

  • The Clippers aren’t indestructible. Their rise toward the top of the conference has been slow and steady, and a big reason for this has been their mortal 14-14 record on the road. Not to mention, the health of their roster continues to be a major question mark. While Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have finally been able to stay on the floor in recent weeks, multiple supporting cast members remain questionable on the injury report. So, as long as the Bulls continue their trend of playing truly sound two-way basketball against stiff competition, they could walk away victorious tonight.
  • If the Bulls do find themselves with the lead late, we should turn our eyes to one area of the box score. The Clippers allow the 6th-most points off turnovers per game, per NBA Stats, while the Bulls currently score the 11th-most points off their opponent’s cough-ups. Similar to Chicago, the Clippers lack a true point guard and facilitator, and there is no question this has been a key factor in their offense remaining bottom-10 in the NBA.
  • What has helped the Clippers stay afloat, however, is their top-tier defense. LA currently ranks 11th in offense and 2nd over the last 10 games. Their consistency behind the arc is among the best in the league, averaging a 37.9 percent clip from downtown, which sits 6th-best in the league. Leonard, in particular, has found his groove over his past 10 contests. Averaging 29.3 points on a ridiculous 56.7 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from downtown.
  • Another name that could sway things tonight is Norman Powell. He’s one of seven players on the Clippers averaging in double figures, and he’s done the majority of that scoring as a member of the second unit. Powell has averaged roughly 19.0 points a night over his last 13 games, knocking down 50 percent of his 5.8 3-point attempts per game. Considering this Bulls’ bench was outscored 68-19 against the Orlando Magic this past weekend, there is no question that the Clippers’ balanced scoring attack could pose some threats if Coby White or Goran Dragic can’t find their rhythm.

“I think he’s made incredible growth and incredible strides. His rookie year was so unique with COVID, no Summer League, and shortened training camp, it was just a unique situation. Last year, the wrist, I feel like this has been a whole year where he has been able to – you can see a steady incline in his progress,” Donovan said.

  • Williams’ emphasis on making quick and decisive decisions has also been on full display over the last month. He’s popping catch-and-shoot 3s with little hesitation and also putting the ball on the floor to drive far more often than he used to. Of course, he can still probably take even more shot attempts, but we’ve seen legitimate progress.
  • Speaking of taking more shots, Zach really wanted him to shoot this … lol

  • After having to leave Saturday’s game for a bit with an ankle injury, Jones Jr. is now listed as probable for tonight’s game. When we consider both how well Jones has played in recent weeks and how often the Clippers like to rely on small-ball play, his availability tonight could prove vital.
  • I spy DeMar!

  • This is an absolutely bonkers fact.

  • You’re telling me you don’t want to wear that jersey around Chicago!?

  • Speaking of old Bulls with a minimal impact, the Great Matt Thomas has signed with Panathinaikos in Greece. Europe isn’t ready!

  • Oh boy … this will be something.

  • I can’t wait for Zach LaVine to convince Shohei to come to Chicago.

  • I like to hear that!

  • Who makes more trades … Bulls or Blackhawks?

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.