The Clippers visit Minneapolis on Thursday evening. I won’t be able to see the game live. I’ll be giving a talk in Chicago, but will be following from afar, from my iPhone, as possible.
The lowdown: the Clippers are 30-9 and have been playing well; The Wolves are 16-19 and have been playing poorly. The Wolves will be lucky to win.
Some things to watch:
1. Ricky Rubio vs. Chris Paul: This was expected to be a marquee matchup. Rubio is still in the midst of his comeback. Paul is in midseason form. Advantage: Clips.
Kevin Love Dante Cunningham vs. Blake Griffin: Last season, Love showed he was in the same league as Griffin, and then some. Love’s status from here on out is uncertain. Griffin will be in the lineup on Thursday. Advantage: Clips. Advantage: Clips.
3. Terry Porter vs. Vinnie Del Negro: No one knows when or if Rick Adelman will be coming back to coach the Wolves. No one knows when or if Vinnie Del Negro will become a viable NBA coach for the Clippers. The Wolves will be trotting out replacement coach Terry Porter. Neither team has an advantage here; both should reconsider their head coaching choices. Donald Sterling should be ashamed of himself. Advantage: Neutral.
4. Eric Bledsoe: Bledsoe is the new Avery Bradley. With more athleticism. That’s a good thing for LAC, except that Bradley is playing himself into bigger money than LAC will likely want to pay him on the open market. Despite these medium and long-term issues for the Clips, Bledsoe may outclass his Twolves counterparts. Everyone knows Lazar Hayward can’t impress on the level Bledsoe can. Advantage: Clips.