The LA Clippers just can't stay healthy.
When the Clippers return home on Saturday night for their matchup with the Charlotte Hornets, the team will again be down a handful of starters in Serge Ibaka and Patrick Beverley.
Ibaka, who was previously considered questionable to play, was downgraded a few hours before tip-off. He's missed the last two contests with a back injury he suffered just under a week ago in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
LA will miss his ability to space the floor against a Hornets team that struggles to defend the perimeter. As a group, Charlotte gives up more three-point attempts per game than any other team in the league and allows opponents to sink more than 37% of their looks from outside.
Fortunately, the Hornets have also had their fair share of issues protecting the rim. While they do limit looks in the paint, opponents have shot a league-best 56.1% on twos against them. Assuming Ivica Zubac continues to start in Ibaka's place while he gets healthy, he could be in for a big night.
For Beverley, this will be his fourth-straight absence while he deals with knee soreness. The Clippers will miss his All-Defensive talent in the backcourt, as the Hornets feature a talented trio of guards in LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Devonte' Graham. As a group, they're combining for roughly 50 points per game and pouring it in from three-point range.
Reggie Jackson should be in line for the start, and while he doesn't play his best basketball on the defensive end of the floor, his ability to play with pace and function as a catch-and-shoot specialist from beyond the arc should outweigh the bad.
The LA Clippers and Charlotte Hornets will take the floor at 7:00 p.m. PT.