Los Angeles Clippers Quest for 17 & Undefeated December
Vinny Del Negro has preached defense and activity from start to finish and the Clippers have answered the bell. They lead the league in steals and are top three in the NBA in points against. They also have the best record in the NBA through the first 30 games of the season. They have nine more wins than their co-tenants and inner city rival Lakers.
Tonight they face an interesting challenge: defeat the team you just demoralized on their home floor, again. Winning in Salt Lake City is no small task, but beating the Jazz twice in three days is just one of those things teams do not do very often. However, Randy Foye doesn't always drop 28 points, as he did in the first game. But then again, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin don't usually to shoot 4-6 and 8-9 from the free throw line, respectively.
This game will be different. The Clippers will be feeding off their home crowd's energy as they have done so often this season and they will almost certainly make it a point of emphasis to get out in the open court, force turnovers and keep the Jazz on their heels all night. If the Jazz cannot get things going from beyond the arc, they will definitely look to their big-men to get the ball rolling in the paint. Al Jefferson is definitely an All-star talent at the Center position and his offensive game is among the most polished in the league.
Can the Clippers tie the fourth-longest win streak in NBA history tonight? It looks like a safe bet considering their home-court success, but never underestimate the heart of a team that suffered a loss like the Jazz did on Friday night. What seemed like a blowout early in the third quarter, only turned into another Clippers victory at the expense of the Jazz and their fans.
Chris Paul put the team on his back and singlehandedly led his team back on the offensive end while the defense as a unit was stingy and active, forcing turnovers and bad shots. Look for more of the same here tonight.
Clippers win, 98 - 92 on their way to an undefeated December 2012, looking forward to their tough New Years week with roadies in Denver and Golden State before a 'home' game against the Lakers.