When the Clippers return home for their matchup with the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night, the team in Serge Ibaka and Patrick Beverley will again lose a handful of starters.
Ibaka, previously considered questionable, has been a few hours downgraded before launch. He missed the last two competitions with a back injury sustained in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans less than a week ago.
LA will miss his ability to place the ground against a Hornets team that is having trouble has to defend the perimeter. As a group, Charlotte gives up more three-point attempts per game than any other team in the league, and allows opponents to sink more than 37% of their outside appearance.
Fortunately, the Hornets had a fair share of them too Problems with protecting the rim. While they limit the appearance in color, the two opponents have shot against them the best 56.1% of the league. Provided Ivica Zubac continues to start at Ibaka while he gets well, he could have a big night.
For Beverley, this is his fourth straight absence while dealing with knee pain. The Clippers will miss his all-defensive talent in the background as the Hornets have a talented trio of guards in LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Devonte ‘Graham. As a group, they combine for about 50 points per game and pour it in from the three point range.
Reggie Jackson should be in line for the start, even though he’s not playing his best basketball on the defensive end of the floor , his ability to play at pace and act as a catch-and-shoot specialist from outside the arc should outweigh the bad.
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