What did the Clippers do over the offseason?
Hmm, I don't seem to recall anything of note.
Paul Pierce reunited with Doc Rivers to give the Clippers an outside scoring threat that can play in almost any lineup. They banished Matt Barnes to the eastern shores of North Carolina to bring in Lance Stephenson for a redemption opportunity. Josh Smith left his good buddy Dwight Howard to joins the Clippers talented, but mercurial bench all the while receiving hefty checks from Mr. Van Gundy.
Oh, and they re-signed DeAndre Jordan.
What will be the most intriguing matchup?
Deron Williams' return to the Western Conference may reignite his old competition with Chris Paul. Before D-Will's ankles morphed into paper mache, he wrangled with Paul for the title of Point God. An older, less explosive Williams can no longer lay claim to that title, but he's motivated to prove how much gas he has left in the tank. Paul's hyper-competitive playing style should bring out the best in Deron. Their battles on and off the ball will be something to keep an eye on all night.
What do the Mavs need to do to find success?
Rebound. Rebound. Rebound.
The Mavericks were one of the worst rebounding teams in the league last season. To further compound that issue, their best rebounder from last season is now grabbing boards under the hot Arizona sun. Zaza Pachulia needs to use his behemoth body to box out the Clippers bouncy frontcourt. Dirk is still a capable rebounder when he's exerting himself; this will have to be one of those evenings. Getting stops will be essential, but if they can't shore up the boards, all will be lost.
How to watch
Tipoff is at 9:30 p.m. on TNT. All these west coast games are going to kill us.