The Clippers look tonight to tie a club record since they moved to Los Angeles, looking for their eighth straight home win, facing the Charlotte Bobcats at Staples Center. The Clippers, who are 16-15 since their 1-13 start, are 14-13 at Staples Center this season. The Los Angeles Clipper record for consecutive home wins is eight, set by the 1992-1993 club that made the playoffs under Larry Brown. Charlotte, who dismissed Brown this season after a 9-19 start, is 11-6 under Paul Silas, who coached the Clippers when they were in San Diego.
The Bobcats are one of the best rebounding teams in the league. While they are only 20th in the NBA in total rebounding, they also play at one of the slowest paces in the league. Charlotte is fifth in the league in defensive rebounding percentage, grabbing 75.6% of available boards on the defensive end. They are ninth in the NBA in offensive rebound percentage (27.4%), while the Clippers are third (30.4%), so expect a battle in the trenches tonight.
Former Laker Kwame Brown has played well of late, averaging 9.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in 15 games since joining the starting lineup in late December. Charlotte is 9-6 in those 15 games, and have won their first three games of a five-game road trip. However, in a battle of former number one overall draft picks, look for Blake Griffin to come out on top.
Griffin is averaging 22.6 points and 12.8 rebounds this season, one of four players in the NBA averaging 20 points and 10 boards, joining Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, and Zach Randolph. Griffin is the only one averaging at least three assists, at 3.5 per game. However, after leading the NBA in dunks for most of the season, has fallen behind Howard in total dunks, 104-101. Perhaps Griffin is saving some dunks for the dunk contest during All-Star weekend. Given the Clippers success of late at Staples Center, I wouldn't bet against Griffin on his home floor.
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