Will Lue’s crew find a slumpbuster?
The LA Clippers are in the playoffs, but they need to get right before they head to the postseason, as they’re on a three-game losing streak at the moment. The next chance to bust that slump they’re in comes Tuesday evening, when they host the Toronto Raptors.
When: Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. PT
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
How to watch/listen: TNT, Bally Sports SoCal
Opposing perspective: Raptors HQ
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers (43-22): Reggie Jackson, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Ivica Zubac, Marcus Morris Sr.
Raptors (27-38): Stanley Johnson, Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch, Malachi Flynn, Kyle Lowry
Clippers: Patrick Beverley (hand), Serge Ibaka (back), Amir Coffey (health & safety protocols) — OUT
Raptors: Paul Watson (knee), Chris Boucher (knee) — OUT; OG Anunoby (calf) — DOUBTFUL; Gary Trent (leg), Fred VanFleet (hip) — QUESTIONABLE
It’s been a mixed bag for the Clippers, who are welcoming back key players — most recently Kawhi Leonard — but have hit a mini-skid, losing three games in a row. But their playoff ticket is already clinched and they need to get their mojo back in these final games before the playoffs begin.
LA will take on a Raptors side playing pretty loose these days. They still have a shot of reaching the play-in tournament, but they’ll likely need to be close to flawless and get some help. They got one needed win on Sunday, blowing out the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. And while the Lakers themselves haven’t been great shakes lately, remember, neither have the Clippers in the past few games. Both mainstay point guard Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam had big games in the win against the Lakers, so even with an injury crisis of sorts for the Raptors as well (not to mention having to relocate to Florida for the season) they can still get it done some nights.
Hopefully Leonard’s foot problem is behind him and he can focus on getting back into tip-top shape and having good chemistry with his teammates. This game certainly isn’t a “must-win” in a traditional sense, but in order to maintain the level of confidence, the Clippers could really use a palate-cleansing victory. We’ll see if they can get the job done.