Week ahead for Clippers: Four games left in nine-game homestand

The week ahead 
Just four games remain in the Clippers current nine-game homestand. And it’ll be a busy week that is sure to test the team. It all begins Monday with a visit from the hot Hawks. The Clippers know all too well how good Atlanta has been playing lately. The Hawks defeated the Clippers 107-104 back on Dec. 23.

The best team in the east is coming off of a big win in Portland on Saturday. Wednesday the Lakers will be the road team in a battle of Staples Center tenants. Saturday, Rajon Rondo comes to town for his first visit to Staples Center as a member of the Mavericks. Sunday it all concludes with a rare home back-to-back against the Miami Heat.

The week behind 

It was a flawless week that saw the team go 3-0. Any other result would’ve been unsatisfactory. The Clippers got past the Jazz, narrowly, 101-97. It was the 12th straight win over the team from Utah, which is a franchise record. The Knicks and all of their struggles fell 99-78 at Staples Center on New Year’s Eve and Saturday night it was a 127-91 win against the 76ers. 

Record and standings 

Entering Monday, the Clippers are 23-11 on the season and remain in second place in the Pacific Division, 4.5 games behind the first place Golden State Warriors. In the conference, the Clippers remain in the sixth spot. 

Thumb’s up
Following the win over the Jazz, the Clippers improved to 79-20 (79.8 winning percentage) since the start of the 2012-13 season. That’s the best winning percentage in the NBA during that time. 

Thumb’s down
The Clippers haven’t necessarily received the return on investment from Jordan Farmar that the club envisioned. Farmar is averaging just 4.7 points and shooting 39.1 percent from the field this season. But he’s recorded double figures in scoring in his last two outings (in mop-up duty) and things could be trending up.

Player to watch
Spencer Hawes is back after missing nine games with a knee injury. He played in all three games last week. Hawes scored 10 points against the Knicks and seven against the 76ers. 

Stat to watch 
J.J. Redick is averaging 18.8 points while shooting 52 percent from the field and nearly 50 percent from three point range over his last eight games.