The Los Angeles Clippers (3-2) battle the New York Knicks (2-4) this Monday (11/6/23). Get Clippers vs. Knicks moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchup below.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. New York Knicks Prediction
The Knicks rank third in Defensive Rating, but they will encounter an offensive buzz saw here. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are combining for 51.8 points per game on exceptional 51/49/83 shooting splits. Julius Randle and RJ Barrett (who is dealing with knee soreness) will struggle mightily to handle their off-the-dribble scoring. The Clippers duo are thriving off-ball too, which provides Los Angeles’ offense with a ton of flexibility. As a result, the James Harden integration should be smoother than expected.
Harden brings a pick-and-roll playmaking presence that the Clippers have not had since the Chris Paul era. The former All-Star will completely enhance Ivica Zubac’s impact and only boost a Clippers squad that ranks second across the NBA in catch-and-shoot three-point shot quality (per ShotQuality). With Harden, Westbrook, George and Leonard, Los Angeles can create offensive advantages through a plethora of avenues, thus allowing them to exploit mismatches and avoid elite defenders.
On the other end, George can smother RJ Barrett and slash his role to solely catch-and-shoot opportunities. Meanwhile, Leonard has the strength to neutralize Randle’s physicality and force him into an outside shooting role. Grizzled veteran PJ Tucker can assume this duty when Leonard sits too. That doesn’t bode well for New York considering Randle currently owns historically terrible 27/22/61 shooting splits. Outside of Jalen Brunson, it’s likely that New York’s starting lineup struggles to generate quality offense.
Finally, Los Angeles is one of the few teams that can match New York’s excellent depth. Bones Hyland, Norman Powell and PJ Tucker are all capable of shooting 40 percent from deep, while Mason Plumlee provides connective passing and solid screening. The bench offense should thrive and block New York from easily winning the bench minutes. Because I am projecting Los Angeles’ starting lineup to comfortably defeat New York’s, that heavily indicates Clippers +2 to me.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. New York Knicks Prediction: Clippers +2
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Los Angeles Clippers vs. New York Knicks Best Odds
The New York Knicks are slight one-point favorites here despite James Harden taking the court for Los Angeles. For the Clippers +100 moneyline to own a positive expected value, they must win this game 50.1 percent of the time. It’s worth noting that the Clippers have won seven of the last ten matchups between these teams.
Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup
New York Knicks Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Clippers vs. New York Knicks Injuries
Terance Mann and Brandon Boston Jr remain sidelined for the Clippers, while Knicks forward RJ Barrett (21 PPG) is questionable but trending towards probable. Josh Hart will get the start if Barrett cannot suit up.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. New York Knicks Key Matchups
Russell Westbrook Rebounding
The Knicks rank second in offensive rebound percentage because of Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle. They typically dominate the glass and provide New York with second chance opportunities. Therefore, the Clippers need to emphasize defensive rebounding and fully commit to boxing out even if it hurts their transition offense.
Westbrook is 45th across the NBA in defensive rebound percentage due to his hustle, leaping ability, and knack for fighting through contact. If he can continue to aid Zubac on the glass and snatch defensive rebounds, then it would be a huge blow to New York’s offense.