Preview: Clippers vs Knicks, J.J. Redick and DeAndre Jordan need to play
With the most grueling month in the NBA underway and players like DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick struggling, can the Clippers get a win against a poor Knicks team?
The LA Clippers have dropped their last three games. After a win in Phoenix to start the month, the team has faltered against three straight top tier opponents. The issue? Poor three point shooting and lack of defense. These issues could be resolved by better play from starters DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick. Blake Griffin has been on an absolute tear since returning from arthroscopic knee surgery, but the rest of the Clippers just haven’t all clicked at the same time.
It’s not normal to say that both DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick don’t look right, but here we are. Since being named to his first All-Star game, DJ just hasn’t looked like himself. His stats, while not overly impressive, have looked alright, but the big man needs to score more than the 7.6 points hes averaged over the last five games.
On the defensive end, DeAndre Jordan has seemed less active which is a far cry from the way he started the year. He also managed to post five 20 rebound games in the month of January, but just hasn’t been hitting the boards in the same way. Hopefully, the effort returns from DeAndre since he has one of the best motors in the league when he is focused.
On the offensive end, J.J. Redick has had some shooting woes. So far for the month of February, he has shot 7 for 26, which is only 27%. Usually a top shooter in the league, J.J. may just need the All-Star break to give himself a rest. In Sunday’s game in Boston, J.J. Redick caught an elbow to the head from Marcus Smart, which required stitches. He reported that his whole left side of his body felt stiff the next day against Toronto.
Whatever the case may be, the Clippers need J.J. to find his shot again.When J.J. Redick has scored 20 points or more, the Clippers are 9-4 this season and 53-13 since he joined the team prior to the 2013-14 season. When Redick has scored 15+ points, the team is 19-8 this season and 108-34 since he joined the team in 2013. (Via Clippers Game Notes)
This is especially important with Chris Paul still out for several more weeks.
In the Knick of Time
Luckily for the Clippers, they face an opponent who are full of internal issues and haven’t been playing well. At this point, most NBA fans have seen the sub-tweeting happening by Knicks’ president, Phil Jackson. The Knicks seem ready to part ways with star forward, Carmelo Anthony, but have not found a suitor. Both the Cavaliers and Clippers have been part of the rumor mill, but nothing concrete has come out.
This Knicks team was supposed to be a “super team” after signing Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah in the summer, but they are currently 22-31, which is the 4th worst record in the East. Nothing seems to be going right for this team, so the Clippers should have a solid shot at picking up a win in the Big Apple.
Joakim Noah isn’t the defensive presence he used to be, so DeAndre Jordan shouldn’t have an issue, especially given his athleticism. Blake Griffin should also have no trouble dominating his match up against Kristaps Porzingis if he continues to play at an elite level.
The game will be on ESPN at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific.