- (Photo: Reuters/David Gray)
Los Angeles Clippers vs Minnesota Timberwolves takes place on Wednesday night with the Clippers trying to emerge from their recent struggles. If they are to claim an important win tonight though they will have to find a way to stop Kevin Love, who has been immense for the Timberwolves this season. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7.30 p.m. PT and can be watched online through free live stream by clicking on the link below.
Some good team news for the Clippers coming into this match up is the return of Chauncey Billups. The point guard's return has been long-awaited by the Clippers and they will be hoping he can come into the side and help stop their current slide which has seen them lose four straight games.
That slide has seen the Clippers drop down the table, and come into this clash with a record nearing .500 at just 8-6 – a far cry from where they were just weeks ago. Pundits are pointing to the collapse of the Clippers' defense for their recent woes. Earlier in the season when they experienced a six game winning streak they conceded just 86.2 points on average per game. However, over the period of their four straight defeats they have let that slip to 103.0 points per game.
Extremely disappointing for fans, and concerning for the Clippers' team they fell 105-98 to New Orleans on Monday. Their opposition in that game rank near the foot of the Western Conference in scoring, and to allow them to put 105 through their defense set alarm bells ringing in LA.
Point guard Chris Paul said following that defeat, "Our defense was terrible. It's almost embarrassing. Teams feel like they can come down and score on us every night. Guys can't look in our eyes and feel like they can get by us. We have to take more pride in our play."
Coach Vinny Del Negro has been looking at fixing the defensive frailties and has worked with the team in that area this week, according to NBA.com. The coach has said, "Our defense has to create our offense, which it was doing earlier in the season and we've got to do a better job with that - locking in defensively, having a more physical presence in the paint and on the perimeter. "If we do that, it will make the game easier. We'll get out in the open court and make the game smoother for us."
Meanwhile, the Clippers will hope their offense can continue firing on all cylinders; on Monday they hit a franchise record by scoring an impressive 18 three-pointers, with Caron Butler posting nine on his way to a 33 point haul. But due to the team's poor defense his efforts were ultimately meaningless as the Clippers lost the game.
For the Timberwolves the team will be looking to Love to continue his impressive form. He had 23 points and 24 rebounds as Minnesota played Sacramento on Tuesday, helping lead the 6-7 Timberwolves to a win to bring an end to a poor five game losing streak.
The last three times the Timberwolves have played the Clippers with Love on their side, Minnesota have won. The Clippers must do something about him if they are to break that run of losses.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Minnesota Timberwolves tips off at 7.30 p.m. PT and can be watched online through free live stream by clicking here.