After an exciting win in their pre-season opener vs. the Denver Nuggets, the LA Clippers will continue pre-season play on Wednesday evening against the Sacramento Kings. The two teams will face off at 7:30 PM PST at Staples Center, and will likely feature more of their rotation players than they did in their respective openers.
For Sacramento, they had their usual starting lineup intact for their pre-season opener; however, not a single player broke 25 minutes. The Clippers took an even more conservative approach, by resting many of their veterans, and playing those who suited up no more than 10-12 minutes.
The Sacramento Kings are naturally younger than the Clippers, with each of their projected starters being less than 30-years old, for an average age of 24.4. Without Kawhi, the Clippers' projected starting lineup has an average age of 29.8, with Ivica Zubac being the only starter younger than 30. This is common, and usually ideal for a team in the middle of their championship window; however, it is a cause for decreased workloads in the pre-season.
As the pre-season progresses, coaches tend to begin utilizing rotations that more reflect what they will use in the regular season. Last season, in Ty Lue's first year as head coach of the Clippers, he played his starters no more than 15 minutes in the pre-season opener. By the second game, they all played 17-20 minutes, and in the final pre-season contest, each starter was between 22-27 minutes played. Fans can probably expect a similar progression this year.
After resting in the pre-season opener, Paul George, Marcus Morris, and Nicolas Batum are not listed on the injury report for the Clippers, and will likely will be back in the lineup. Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, and Jason Preston remain out with injuries, while Keon Johnson is questionable with a non-covid related illness.
The Clippers and Kings will tipoff at 7:30 PM PST at Staples Center in Los Angeles, and the game will be televised on Bally Sports.