The Los Angeles Clippers look to rebound from last night's loss as they host the Toronto Raptors tonight at Staples Center. After spending almost all of February on the road, the Clippers have enjoyed some home cooking in late March. Tonight will be the sixth of seven straight games at Staples Center for the Clippers.
When the Clippers and Raptors last met, the Clippers were in the midst of their epic 11-game road trip, and Toronto was struggling. However, even though the Raptors had lost 16 of 17 games heading into that February 13 encounter, they were able to beat the Clippers, 98-93. Since that game, Toronto has gone 5-12 while the Clippers are 8-11. Both teams are playing tonight on the second night of back-to-back games, as the Clippers lost a close battle with the Lakers while the Raptors were getting blown out in Oakland against Golden State. Tonight is the final game of a five-game road trip for Toronto.
Blake Griffin is well on his way to the Rookie of the Year award this season, though he seems to hit a wall of late. Of course, this is all relative, as Griffin is still averaging 20.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in his last nine games. After 54 double-doubles in the first 64 games of the season, Griffin has been held to single-digit rebounds in eight of the last nine games. Still, he remains tied with Elton Brand in 2001-2002 for the most double-doubles in a season in Clippers franchise history.
DeAndre Jordan returned to the Clippers last night after a bout with pneumonia, playing 23 minutes against the Lakers. Steve Perrin at Clips Nation analyzed the center position going forward:
So the question is, who gets the start? It's been my assumption all along that eventually Kaman would get his starting job back - he's the far superior scorer, and is arguably a better (if very different) defender as well. Jordan plays with great energy and when he is active, he really helps the team. It's not a problem having two starting quality centers, but the Clippers do need to decide how they will use both when they are healthy.
For more news and information on tonight's game, be sure to read Clips Nation.