The Los Angeles Clippers are on a big-time roll all of a sudden – but can they keep beating the NBA odds without DeAndre Jordan when they host the Houston Rockets?
It happened: The Los Angeles Clippers got their revenge on the Golden State Warriors. Four days after the Warriors knocked Blake Griffin for a loop, the Clippers went to Oakland and beat the defending champions 125-106 as 12-point road dogs. And they did it without Griffin or point guard Milos Teodosic. Granted, Stephen Curry didn’t play for the Warriors, but whatevs.
Griffin has since returned to active duty after shaking off the cobwebs from that nasty concussion the Warriors gave him. Teodosic (plantar fascitis) is back, too. But now the Clippers have another key injury: DeAndre Jordan has a sprained left ankle, and he’s iffy for Monday’s home game (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT) versus the Houston Rockets. Nothing on the NBA odds board as we go to press, so once again, we’ll do what we can to prepare you for battle.
The Clippers (21-21 SU, 23-18-1 ATS) have already prevailed once with Jordan out of the lineup and Griffin back in uniform. Jordan got hurt during last Wednesday’s 121-115 win over the Sacramento Kings (+4 at home); the same two teams met on Saturday, and with Willis Reed starting at center, the Clips won 126-105 as 7-point home faves.
Reed (minus-0.1 BPM) has been one of L.A.’s top reserves this year, albeit in limited minutes. He might not be playing at the same level as Jordan (plus-2.0 BPM), but then again, Jordan himself isn’t the same player that made the All-Star Game last year with a plus-4.1 BPM. The Clippers also have big man Montrezl Harrell (plus-0.7 BPM) coming off the bench and soaking up important minutes.
Beating the Kings is one thing, though. Assuming Jordan misses Monday’s game, too, are the Clippers still the right NBA pick against the outstanding Rockets (30-11 SU, 20-20-1 ATS)? It looks like James Harden (plus-10.3 BPM) is going to miss his seventh straight game for Houston with a strained left hamstring; the Rockets are 4-2 SU and ATS in his absence, so again, it looks like the betting market has overreacted to the absence of a top player. Maybe the OVER will be worth a spin instead, should Jordan (plus-1.4 DBPM) miss this game for L.A. Luc Mbah a Moute (plus-1.4 DBPM), Nene (plus-0.3 DBPM) and Tarik Black (plus-1.3 DBPM) are also out or uncertain for the Rox, so keep an eye on Monday’s shootaround to see who looks ready, and bet appropriately.