The Kings returned from the break with a solid performance and a not-so-expected win over the young, dangerous and fully motivated Grizzlies (129-125).
Despite the fact that they scored above 110 points, they lost each of their last two away games by at least 12 points, which shows their defensive struggle, especially on the road! Offensively, they rely heavily on their backcourt (Fox, Hield, Bogdanovic) and neither of them has been consistent this season and when the offense is not there for the Kings, there is no plan-B. I mean if there is even a plan-A, to begin with, and Walton is a mastermind in hiding it so far.
The Clippers, on the other hand, closed out the first half of the season in the worst possible way with back to back losses to two Eastern contenders (Sixers, Celtics). Yet, the won every off-the-court battle as they not only traded for Marcus Morris but they also signed R.Jackson who could have been an amazing addition for their main rivals, the Lakers.
Both Morris (19pts, 5reb) and Jackson (14.9pts, 5.1ast) can be regulars on a playoff contender and considering that they are 7th or 8th best players on the current Clippers' roster says a lot about their strength.
The Clippers have struggled with complacency (and lack of chemistry) all season long. Its what happened in their last meeting with the Kings, last month, which resulted in a heavy home loss (103-124). Back then I was with the Kings but not this time.
The Clippers are down two key players as PG and Beverley are sidelined but as of now, Kawhi has hit mid-season form, he has been scary good over the last month, and he has the ability to take games on his own, more so against teams like the Kings. Either way, Morris and Reggie will play today and they add huge depth and strength offensively, which will be too much for the Kings to handle, so, missing PG is not something that can scare me off here.
Returning from the all-star break, I expect the Clippers to make their final push, like every other playoff team, and they cannot afford to drop games like this one at home anymore or kawhload manage through games. The Clippers can and should blow out the Kings and get over with this one in three quarters.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Sacramento Kings betting tips
Clippers -9.5 (Stake: 9)Odds: 2.00 at Pinnacle
Result: 103-112 LOST (-9 units)