What have the Clippers done lately?
Since we last saw the Clippers on January 3, they've been playing without Chris Paul, who (I think) is out for a little while longer. Either way, he won't be around tonight. After playing the Mavs just 12 days ago, the Darren Collison-led Clips lost to the Spurs, but have rattled off wins against the Magic, Celtics and Lakers. Hardly NBA elite that they've beaten, but hey, in the wild wild Western Conference, especially with your superstar out, I'm sure you take those wins every day. Tonight should be their first test (hopefully) since that Spurs game.
Which Clipper might be due for a big game?
No Mavs fan wants to hear it, but Darren Collison is probably going to have another big game against his former team. In the last meeting, Collison went off for 20 points on 60 percent shooting. Of course, this was also the game that Chis Paul was injured so the Clippers were forced to rely on Collison. Since then, Collison has averaged 18 points per game, while shooting 64 percent, and six assists. The Mavs' backcourt being the Mavs' backcourt, Collison will likely match or surpass those numbers.
What do the Mavericks need to do to win the game?
In their last meeting, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin torched the Mavs on the scoreboard and on the glass. Jordan had a season (career?) high in scoring that night while throwing down several thunderous dunks. If Dallas wants to have any hope of stealing one on the road, they need to try and limit the countless opportunities the Clippers have in the paint. It will be crucial for Dalembert and the other Mavs centers to exert what will they have to try and steal some boards and contest shots at the rim. Dallas' interior defense has proved inferior much of the season but it has shown glimpses of coherence. Tonight, they will need to bring their A game.
What stat, player or random fact might surprise you about the Clippers?
Random fact: Okay, this isn't so much about the Clippers, but I will be at the game tonight. It's my first time at STAPLES Center for a sporting event (though I've been there for a number of concerts), so I'm looking forward to reporting back about the differences between the L.A. arena experience versus the Dallas experience. Hope you all plan on tuning in tonight, and for that in a few days!
Also, we'll have a follow up Q&A later today with Clips Nation, so look out for that as well.
[Ed. note: Thanks to Doyle Rader for his help with putting this together this morning!]