Top 10 Hawks Matchups – #8: Clippers Come To Atlanta
The eighth matchup in our countdown is the Los Angeles Clippers’ first and only visit to Philips Arena on Dec. 4. Last year, the Hawks split the season series with the Clippers with each team winning at home. Both teams have new coaches and some fresh faces on the rosters, but each figure to once again be playoff contenders in their respective conferences.
The Clippers finished last season as the fourth seed in the Western Conference and fell to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. Los Angeles had a busy off-season, most notably re-signing Chris Paul and bringing in former Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers to replace Vinny Del Negro. To surround Paul with more offensive weapons on the perimeter, the Clippers traded Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler for JJ Redick and Jared Dudley. The addition of more shooters will make the Clippers’ already lethal pick-and-roll game even more dangerous as they will be able to punish defenders that try to collapse off of shooters to defend the paint. With a new system and more shooters to go along with the front-court tandem of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers will be looking to be a serious contender in the Western Conference.
Their visit to Atlanta will be an early season test for the Hawks to measure themselves against one of the NBA’s best teams. Few games are likely to be as exciting on the court as there are plenty of offensive weapons on both squads as well as some very intriguing individual match-ups. Jeff Teague will get a chance to go up against Paul, as will rookie Dennis Schröder, who will get an early opportunity to measure his skills against, arguably, the best point guard in the NBA. Two of the best sixth men in the league, Lou Williams and former Hawk Jamal Crawford, will get a rare opportunity to face one another, and each is capable of lighting up the scoreboard. Down low, Al Horford and Paul Millsap will go up against Griffin and Jordan, and two of the NBA’s finest three-point shooters will go against each other in Kyle Korver and Redick.
Great offense will be on full display in this game, and, with only one opportunity to play the Clippers at home, the Hawks will look to make a statement against one of the West’s best.
Previously in the Top 10 countdown:
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