Game-by-Game Predictions for L.A. Clippers' December
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.
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
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
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
When: Wednesday, December 5th
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
When: Saturday, December 8th
Breakdown: Alvin Gentry’s Phoenix Suns have always posed a difficult challenge for the Clippers.
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
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
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
When: Wednesday, December 12th
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
When: Saturday, December 15th
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
When: Monday, December 17th
Breakdown: The Clippers should have no trouble beating the Detroit Pistons in this mid-December matchup.
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
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
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
When: Sunday, December 23rd
Breakdown: The Clippers seem to always have trouble winning in Phoenix.
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
When: Tuesday, December 25th
Breakdown: This Christmas matchup between the upstart Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers should be intriguing.
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
When: Thursday, December 27th
Breakdown: The Clippers have a habit of getting up for big games, and this one should be no different.
Prediction: The Clippers feed off of the crowd’s energy and knock off the C’s.
Clippers at Utah Jazz
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
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.