Pregame: Los Angeles Clippers @ Chicago Bulls

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Announcers:

Play-by-play: Alec Walt (@AlecWalt)

Color: Martin Soaries (@marsoaries)

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Los Angeles Clippers (13-9)

clips

Last 5 (4-1): W POR 102-87, L IND 103-91, W ORL 103-101, W MIN 110-106, W MIL 109-95

Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul (16.9 ppg)

SG: J.J. Reddick (14.4 ppg)

SF: Luc Mbah a Moute (1.6 ppg)

PF: Blake Griffin (24.3 ppg)

C: DeAndre Jordan (11.0 ppg)

Chicago Bulls (11-8)

Bulls

Last 5 (2-3): W SA 92-89, W DEN 99-90, L CHA 102-96, L PHX 103-101, L BOS 105-100

Starting Lineup

PG: Derrick Rose (13.6 ppg)

SG: Jimmy Butler (21.2 ppg)

SF: Doug McDermott (9.4 ppg)

PF: Taj Gibson (6.7 ppg)

C: Pau Gasol (14.8 ppg)

Key Matchup

Blake Griffin vs. Pau Gasol

New school vs old school. Power vs finesse. Both of these stars need to fill the stat sheet for their respective teams to win. But, Gasol didn’t play well last season against Griffin. According to ESPN.com, Gasol dropped 4 points while shooting 15.4% against Griffin. He at least snagged 15 rebounds. On the contrary, Griffin had a solid 19 points and 10 rebounds against Gasol. The Bulls need Gasol tonight to turn the young season around. 

Key Storyline

Clippers 4th quarter turnaround

The Clippers have looked like two complete teams over the last 18 games. Throughout the first nine, the Clippers were shooting just over 40% from the field in the fourth quarter. In the last nine, they are shooting over 50% from the field late in games. Games are won and lost in the NBA in the fourth quarter. If the Clippers want to continue this hot streak, they need to stay hot in the fourth quarter. 

Identity? 

The Chicago Bulls have struggled to find their identity throughout the first quarter of the 2015 NBA season. Their identity used to be toughness and defense under Tom Thibodeau, but the Bulls have looked out of sync with new head coach Fred Hoiberg. They aren’t together on both ends of the court. The Bulls need to find their identity. They have entered a new era with old era players, and are sitting at the bottom of a tight conference. A win tonight would be a huge confidence booster. 

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