Chris Paul & the Clippers might be the better NBA pick tonight as they face rookie Andrew Wiggins & the inexperienced Minnesota Wolves. The Clippers are playing on no rest, but that shouldn't be a factor in tonight's game.
Tip-off is set for 8:00 pm ET tonight at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to 5 Dimes Sportsbook, Los Angeles is a 4.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 206. Minnesota is a team that doesn't play much defense and NBA Odds makers think that the score will be on the high side.
The Clippers are coming off of a tough 96-86 victory over the depleted Chicago Bulls Aside from Nikola Mirotic, who had a career high 29 points, the Clippers held all of the Bulls key players in check and that was the key to the victory. CP3 led the Clippers with 28 points, 12 assists, and 5 rebounds and DeAndre Jordan had 9 points and 26 rebounds.
After watching this nationally televised game, I got a good gauge on why the Clippers are having success without Blake Griffin.
DeAndre Jordan as Team MVP
When your best player comes out and labels Jordan as the team MVP, it must be true. Despite Jordan's inability to hit a foul shot, Doc Rivers keeps Jordan on the court in the 4th quarter because he makes up for it with his defense.
Yesterday, the Bulls were trying the "hack-a-Jordan" up until the 2 minute mark of the 3rd quarter and Jordan was consistently making 1 of 2 free throws. That said, that's not really the story. It's Jordan's ability on the offensive end to create massive picks with his huge size. This enables the Clippers more opportunity on the offensive end. Let's not also forget that Jordan is a rebounding machine.
In his last 5 games, he's averaging 19.8 rebounds per game. I don't see anyone on the T-Wolves that will push the massive and experienced Jordan around.
Expect more of the same in this game when forming your NBA Picks. Chris Paul will lead the offense while he finds J.J. Redick and Spencer Hawes out on the perimeter. Jamaal Crawford could be a key piece as his best play comes in the 4th quarter and Matt Barnes is there to do the dirty work blocking shots and doing anything that's needed. I've basically summed up the Clippers game plan and if Chicago couldn't handle it, Minnesota certainly won't be able to either.
Steal Of a Pick
I know some of you are going to say how is Andrew Wiggins a steal of a pick when he's drafted #1? This is easy as Kevin Love is a good player, but is having a difficult time fitting into the Cleveland offensive scheme with Lebron James putting up all of the shots and Andrew Wiggins, who was traded for Love, just keeps getting better and better as a basketball player. Let's not forget that Wiggins is just 20 years old. He's not even old enough to gamble at a casino in Las Vegas.
In Wiggins' last 10 games, he's averaging 17.1 points and 4.8 rebounds and playing nearly 40 minutes per game, He's so valuable that the Wolves need him on the court at all times. This reminds me of when Kobe Bryant was a rookie. However, Wiggins can't win a game by himself and isn't ready to put the T-Wolves at the top of the division.
If Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan keep playing the way that they've been playing, the Clippers should go on a nice run. Minnesota is no match for the Clippers.
NBA Pick- Clippers -4.5 at 5Dimes