L.A. Clippers (33-17) at Miami (29-22)
When: Sunday, February 7th 2016
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Time: 2:05 ET | TV: ABC
The Los Angeles Clippers visit the surging Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon as two rebounding machines will square off. The Clippers DeAndre Jordan and Heat’s Hassan Whiteside also rank first and second in field goal percentage in the NBA. DeAndre Jordan has picked up the slack left by the injury to Blake Griffin and has been dominating the boards to the tune of 15 or more in six straight games. The Clippers started their four-game road trip with a 107-93 win in Orlando on Friday and Jordan had 12 points and 18 rebounds to lead the charge. Jordan now ranks second in rebounding (13.9), third in blocks (2.25), and first in FG% (71.6). The Clippers have won five of six overall and their getting contributions from Jamal Crawford and Lance Stephensen off the bench. Crawford came in for a struggling Paul Pierce and poured in 20 points in 35 minutes of action, while Stephensen recorded 13 points in 19 minutes going 6-for-6 from the field. Crawford has scored 20 or more in three straight games and four of the last five. Los Angeles is still hanging onto the 4th seed in the West and will travel to Philadelphia and Boston this week to complete their road trip before coming home to face the two best teams in the league (Golden State and San Antonio).
The Heat will be home finally for a couple of games in a row against the Clippers today and San Antonio on Tuesday. Miami has played eight of their last nine games on the road, but are 6-3 during that stretch including winning six of their last seven. Whiteside missed five games with a back injury, but has come off the bench in the last two games and has been dominant. He recorded a triple-double in 27 minutes Friday against Charlotte and it wasn’t your typical triple-double. He had 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 blocks. He leads the NBA in blocks (4.02), fifth in rebounds (11.1), and second behind Jordan in FG% (61.6). Dwayne Wade led the Heat with 22 points in the 98-95 win over Charlotte and is averaging 21.7 points in Miami’s last seven games. Chris Bosh has scored 20 points in each of the last two games, but his shooting percentage has taken a hit from long-range. He is 0 for his last 8 three-point attempts after going 5-for-11 in the previous three. Miami is just a half a game behind Atlanta in the Southeast Division entering Sunday’s play.
Jordan has been great lately, but the Heat are healthy and playing really good ball right now. Whiteside’s return makes them even better and I think they come up with a big home win today.
Pick: Heat -1