Miami Heat will continue their 6-game road trip tonight, against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.
After a disappointing game against Memphis, the Heat came awfully close to dropping two in a row against Houston. After failing to break the 30-point mark for 7 games, LeBron James exploded for 38 points and grabbed a standard 10 rebounds. James made big shots down the stretch, and despite Wade missing 2 crucial free-throws at the end of the game, Miami escaped Houston with a 113-110 victory.
After beating the Memphis Grizzlies in the season opener and then the Lakers, Clippers surprisingly dropped two games at home against Golden State and Cleveland. Since then, however, it has been smooth sailing for the Clippers who are on a 3 game winning streak.
The Clippers improved their roster this off-season by welcoming players such as Grant Hill, Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom and Matt Barnes. While Grant Hill is out with a bone bruise, Jamal Crawford has provided excellent scoring off the bench. Crawford is averaging a team high 20.3 points per game. Clippers are a lot deeper this year and when Grant Hill and Chauncey Billups are back they could very well cause some upsets in the West.
James has started the season in impressive fashion, posting solid and efficient numbers. Chris Bosh has also been very consistent so far this season, averaging 20.9 points per game. Although Bosh’s rebounding has been somewhat erratic, he has shown that the Heat can lean on him on a regular basis.
Chris Paul is currently averaging just over 10 assists per game, which ranks him 2nd in the league. Chalmers has gotten into foul trouble in a couple of games early this season and it will be important for him to stay on the floor.
Everyone is now familiar with lob-city. Griffin and Jordan are two of the most athletic players in the league and love to run the floor. Pretty much every player on the Clippers’ roster can run the fast break, and the Clippers are ranked 2nd in the league in fast break points. Both Griffin and Jordan have shown that they can push the ball and when they don’t they have the best point-guard in the league to set them up. Miami will have to try to limit the Clippers fast break efficiency by continuing to execute their half-court sets, as well as getting back in transition.
We should see a very offense oriented game tonight, as both teams rank at the very top of the league in field goal percentage. Miami is leading the league at 49.7% while the Clippers are shooting 49.6% from the field this season. Miami is also ranked first in points per game while the Clippers are third in the league.