Hungry Clips open season in Portland
Having suffered a disappointing first-round exit in last year’s playoffs, the Clippers spent the offseason tinkering. No established stars left Staples Center, but they’ll be surrounded by a markedly different supporting cast.
Coach Doc Rivers gets to start allocating those minutes tonight, with Rip City serving as the backdrop. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the visiting squad odds of -140 prevail. Conversely, the Trail Blazers enter the contest as a +120 underdogs,
Terry Stotts’ club actually ended Los Angeles’ 2015-16 campaign, dispatching Chris Paul & Co. in six games. Of course, a significant injury prevented the Clips’ star point guard from even suiting up for the final two tilts. Blake Griffin also missed the bulk of the action.
General manager Dave Wohl made it a point, then, to reinforce Rivers’ depth moving forward. Reliable forwards Marreese Speights and Brandon Bass now join a second unit that includes Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. Naturally, DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick return to flesh out the starting five.
All of these individuals promise to receive a stern test in several hours. Portland already rallied past Utah on Tuesday, 113-104, with Damien Lillard pouring in 39 points. Expect the two-time All-Star to keep his crew right in the thick of the festivities here, too.
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