The Los Angeles Clippers are heading into Dallas to square off against the Dallas Mavericks and old friend DeAndre Jordan for the first time this season.
This season looked to be a mini-rebuild for the Los Angeles Clippers. While the team had talent, it seemingly did not have the star power to compete with the NBA’s best teams and would instead turn the focus to the two max contract spots for next offseason.
However, the Clippers have completely blown everyone out of the water. With a 15-6 record entering Sunday, the Clippers are first place in the Western Conference and have had several standouts on the roster.
This is a roster that is without Lob City, which carried the Clippers to its most successful stretch in franchise history. The organization agreed to a sign and trade with Chris Paul, essentially did a six-month sign and trade with Blake Griffin and lost star center DeAndre Jordan in free agency this summer.
The Clippers have played Chris Paul since the deal and have played Blake Griffin as well. The team is yet to face DeAndre Jordan, which changes on Sunday as the Clippers head into Dallas.
Jordan has all the reasons in the world to have a massive game. While there certainly is no bad blood with the Clippers, every NBA player gets up when they play their old team; it is human nature.
And while there is a chance that Jordan could have a nice game, it won’t be his performance that we remember. Instead, we are going to see an elite showing out of Montrezl Harrell that will reinforce us all why the Clippers were just fine with letting Jordan walk.
Harrell is already outplaying Jordan this season. The fourth-year big man is averaging 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and has a 64.9 field-goal percentage.
Jordan, meanwhile, is averaging 11.3 points, 13.2 rebounds and owns a 63.3 field goal percentage. Jordan does have a noticeable advantage on the glass, however, Harrell is already showing to be a much better scorer and is doing so in a smaller sample size.
Harrell hasn’t even started a game this season and is averaging those numbers on 25.8 minutes per game. Jordan is a starter that is averaging 31.8 minutes per game.
The spotlight is going to be on Jordan and how he plays against his old team. With the spotlight on Jordan, Harrell is going to rise to the occasion, force Doc Rivers to give him significant minutes this game and is going to put together a great showing.
I think Harrell is going to record a double-double with at least 25 points and, obviously, 10 rebounds. This will also include a big basket late that helps get the Los Angeles Clippers the win.