Game-by-Game Predictions for L.A. Clippers' December

Oren FriedmanCorrespondent IIMarch 14, 2017

Game-by-Game Predictions for L.A. Clippers' December

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    After a murderous November against some of the NBA’s best teams, the Los Angeles Clippers will get some easier games come December. 

    The Clippers' first eight games of the season saw them face off against contenders like the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs twice. 

    Lob City responded well, knocking off a series of its elite foes, but played down to its opponents at home in brutal losses to the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New Orleans Hornets

    The Clippers are still forging their identity, molding the team around the star power of Chris PaulBlake Griffin and their deep bench.

    Here is a December game-by-game prediction for the L.A. Clippers. 

     

     

    Statistics used in this article were accurate as of November 28th, 2012.

Clippers vs. Sacramento Kings

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    When: Saturday, December 1st 

     

    Breakdown: Although the Los Angeles Clippers have a knack of playing down to the level of their competition, there is no reason that they should have any trouble at home with the Sacramento Kings.

    Although the Kings have shown some promise, they are still a young team trying to put things together on the fly. After the Clippers' egregious home loss to the cellar dweller New Orleans Hornets, a new sense of urgency has to be taken. 

    While fans will delight in watching Blake Griffin rekindle a rivalry with big man DeMarcus Cousins, Lob City’s overwhelming firepower should close the door on any upset.

     

    Prediction: Clippers handle the Kings decisively.

Clippers at Utah Jazz

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    When: Monday, December 3rd 

     

    Breakdown: The Utah Jazz pose some serious matchup problems for the Clippers. 

    Utah's beefy frontline of Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap is a force to be reckoned with in the paint. On the perimeter, former Clippers Randy Foye and Mo Williams are capable distributors and proficient outside shooters. 

    Given the Clippers' historical woes in Salt Lake City, this game will be a grind-it-out matchup. 

    Chris Paul helped the Clips steal a win at EnergySolutions Arena last season, but winning in Utah is a tough task for most teams.

     

    Prediction: Utah wins a close one.

Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks

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    When:  Wednesday, December 5th 

     

    Breakdown: The Dallas Mavericks backcourt of Darren Collison and OJ Mayo has been a pleasant surprise for the undermanned Mavs this season. 

    Given the offseason losses of Jason Terry and Jason Kidd, in addition to the injury to Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas has had a tough time competing in the uber-competitive Western Conference. 

    The Clippers have had the Mavs’ number of late, and should be able to handle this team at home, especially without Nowitzki. 

     

    Prediction: The Mavericks hang around, but they do not have the firepower to keep up with the Clips.

Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns

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    When: Saturday, December 8th 

     

    Breakdown: Alvin Gentry’s Phoenix Suns have always posed a difficult challenge for the Clippers. 

    Last season, the Suns won three of four against LAC, including a victory at Staples Center without Steve Nash or Grant Hill

    Luckily for the Clips, the Suns no longer have Nash nor Hill, and the team is in full-on rebuilding mode.

     

    Prediction: Unless the Clippers have one of their patented slump games, then they should have no problem disposing the Suns at home.

Clippers vs. Toronto Raptors

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    When: Sunday, December 9th 

     

    Breakdown: These Sunday matinees always seem to be some sort of trap game for the Clippers. 

    Coming off of a game against the Phoenix Suns the day before, the Clips could come out slow and sluggish in this one.

    Fortunately, the mediocre play of the Toronto Raptors will give the Clippers some wiggle room to adjust. 

     

    Prediction: Clippers pull away in the second half and win easily.

Clippers at Chicago Bulls

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    When: Tuesday, December 11th 

     

    Breakdown: The Clippers eviscerated the Chicago Bulls in the team’s first regular-season matchup in L.A. this year. 

    The bench was simply overwhelming, and the Clippers coasted past Chicago for an easy 101-80 victory.

    Heading back to the United Center, the Bulls will be looking for revenge. Chicago’s strong team defense will try to stifle Chris Paul, as Lob City’s bench looks to come together on the road. 

     

    Prediction: The bench underperforms and the Clippers drop this one to an energized Bulls squad.

Clippers at Charlotte Bobcats

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    When: Wednesday, December 12th

     

    Breakdown: After winning just seven games all of last season, the Charlotte Bobcats have been quite the surprise in the Eastern Conference this year.

    It is a long shot for the Bobcats to make the playoffs this season, but that does not take away from the precocious development of young guys Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

    While Charlotte has some nice pieces, they simply cannot compete on the perimeter or in the paint with the Clippers. 

     

    Prediction: Clippers overwhelm the Bobcats early and win handily, earning their first victory on the East Coast.

Clippers at Milwaukee Bucks

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    When: Saturday, December 15th 

     

    Breakdown: Lead by their quick guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, the Milwaukee Bucks are in a good position to contend for the Central Division crown this year.

    The Bucks will have difficulty matching up with the Clippers in this one, however. 

    Milwaukee is incredibly reliant on its perimeter players, and the Clippers have a host of long wing defenders that should be able to control the Bucks explosive guards. From Eric Bledsoe to Matt Barnes, the Clippers have the pieces to give the Bucks some trouble. 

     

    Prediction: The game is close throughout, but Chris Paul and co. pull away down the stretch, earning the Clippers a hard-fought win.

Clippers at Detroit Pistons

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    When: Monday, December 17th 

     

    Breakdown: The Clippers should have no trouble beating the Detroit Pistons in this mid-December matchup. 

    While the Pistons have some nice players in Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, their youth will prompt them to make some poor decisions that the Clippers should exploit. 

    The Pistons have no one to match up with Blake Griffin, Chris Paul or Jamal Crawford either. While Detroit could hang around, this one should be all LAC.

     

    Prediction: Clippers win easily.

Clippers vs. New Orleans Hornets

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    When: Wednesday, December 19th 

     

    Breakdown: The Clippers' November home loss to the New Orleans Hornets was perhaps their worst of the young season. 

    Lob City came out flat, and was picked apart on the perimeter to the tune of 15 New Orleans three-pointers on 60 percent shooting from downtown.

    The Clippers imposing frontcourt tandem of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan combined for just seven points and nine boards on 2-of-13 shooting.

    Eager to exact some revenge on the Hornets, expect the Clippers to come out swinging. 

     

    Prediction: The Clippers push around the Hornets early and win easily.

Clippers vs. Sacramento Kings

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    When: Friday, December 21st 

     

    Breakdown: The Clippers second December matchup against the Sacramento Kings should not be much different from their first. 

    Playing at home, the Clippers should be able to easily pick apart DeMarcus Cousins and company. 

    Jamal Crawford should have his way on the perimeter and DeAndre Jordan should control the paint. 

     

    Prediction: Barring some transcendent play from the Kings’ young playmakers, the Clippers should handle Sacramento decisively.

Clippers at Phoenix Suns

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    When: Sunday, December 23rd

     

    Breakdown: The Clippers seem to always have trouble winning in Phoenix.

    LAC has not won in the Valley of the Sun since April 2007, when Elton Brand and Corey Maggette lead the squad to a 103-99 win on the road. 

    Even with Chris Paul, the Clips dropped both games in Phoenix last season. The Suns have a knack of putting everything together against Lob City, especially at home.

     

    Prediction: Phoenix will remain a tough place to play for the Clips, and the Suns will win a grind-it-out matchup.

Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets

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    When: Tuesday, December 25th 

     

    Breakdown: This Christmas matchup between the upstart Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers should be intriguing. 

    Despite bringing in Andre Iguodala to an already explosive roster, the Nuggets had trouble getting out of the gates, starting the season just 4-6.

    Lob City won three of four against Denver last season, but the Nuggets actually outscored the Clips overall 410-407. Given the shooting and playmaking capabilities of these teams, this one should be an exciting and high-scoring affair.

     

    Prediction: Clippers play well at home on national television and take down the Nuggets.

Clippers vs. Boston Celtics

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    When: Thursday, December 27th 

     

    Breakdown: The Clippers have a habit of getting up for big games, and this one should be no different. 

    Early season victories over the San Antonio Spurs, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat established LAC as a legitimate contender. 

    The Celtics are a resilient team and proven road warriors, but the combination of the Clippers' speed and athleticism make them an especially difficult matchup for Kevin Garnett and company. 

     

    Prediction: The Clippers feed off of the crowd’s energy and knock off the C’s.

Clippers at Utah Jazz

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    When: Friday, December 28th 


    Breakdown: When the Clippers make their second trip to Salt Lake City this December, expect them to come out with a little more punch. 

    LAC should not be as intimidated by the atmosphere, and the bench should come to play. Look for big games from Eric Bledsoe and Jamal Crawford in this one. 

    Riding the leadership of Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups, a poised Clippers bunch should control the Jazz in the paint and on the perimeter. 

     

    Prediction: The Clippers exorcise their Salt Lake City demons and knock off the Jazz.

Clippers vs. Utah Jazz

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    When: Sunday, December 30th 

     

    Breakdown: Playing against each other twice in three days, the Jazz and the Clippers will be more attuned to each other’s cadences and patterns.

    Expect this to be a grind-it-out game, and a big-time showdown between Blake Griffin and Al Jefferson.

    While the Jazz pose a threat to Lob City, the Clippers will need to get it done at home. LAC cannot be complacent in this one.

    Pulling back-to-back wins over a strong Utah team will only reiterate that this team is serious about contending for a championship.

     

    Prediction: The Clippers play to their strengths and beat the Jazz for the second consecutive game.