The Pelicans limp into Los Angeles tonight to face the Clippers. Although they lead the Pacific Division, the Clips haven't been all THAT impressive: 6-4 in the last 10 games and an 8-7 road record. Unlucky for us, tonight's tip takes place in Staples Center, where they've posted a tidy 9 wins against 2 losses.
Without a doubt, the Pels are going to have to come out and play extremely hard -- all of them. Do like a 180 degree turn from yesterday's poor showing. Jrue Holiday will have his hands full with Chris Paul, but Ryan Anderson can hopefully get crafty with Blake Griffin and Jason Smith needs to lure DeAndre Jordan away from the rim.
In particular, Eric Gordon needs to prove that the team can rely on him to carry the load. 14+ million dollars should be able to buy you that sometimes, right? Just to increase the pressure, Gordon does have several things in his favor: playing in his old stomping grounds and facing an anti-Iguodala combo of Willie Green and Jamal Crawford.
The Clippers will be without J.J. Redick but they still have several decent shooters sitting on the wings in Jared Dudley and the aforementioned Crawford. If the Pelicans can keep them on leashes and make a few more shots than yesterday, the game should at least be competitive. Of course, we're all hoping for more, but after last night's debacle, I'm afraid to ask for too much.