It'll always be fun when DeAndre Jordan visits Dallas from here on out.
We know the story. Jordan committed to join the Mavs in the summer, and backed out in a way that made him public enemy No. 1 in Dallas. More than that, if Dallas somehow is able to claw its way to the No. 5 seed, the Clippers are probably who they'll face
What happened the last time these two met?
Oh man it was fun. The Mavs beat the Clippers 118-108 in Jordan's first game at American Airlines Center since the summer's events. Dirk Nowitzki provided us with a classic performance, dropping 31 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. It was also Wesley Matthews' best game of the season to that point with 25 points, six rebounds and three 3-pointers.
And the AAC crowd was great. It felt like a playoff game because of how amped the fans were, booing Jordan every time he touched the ball. In case you don't remember it, here's a little refresher:
Expect a similar atmosphere Tuesday night. It probably won't be as venomous as the first time, but Jordan will be forever booed and hated in Dallas, and it's going to show every time he comes to town.
Another interesting wrinkle is that Chandler Parsons didn't play in November due to all his restrictions. Parsons was a big part of trying to recruit Jordan to Dallas, so it'll be interesting to see them on the court for the first time, especially with Parsons playing so well.
What might surprise you about the Clippers?
They haven't really fallen off without Blake Griffin. In fact, they've played better without him. The Clippers rattled off nine-straight wins after Griffin broke his hand as a result of that bizarre fight with an equipment manager.
L.A. is sitting at No. 4 in the conference and is only 1.5 games back of the Thunder for the No. 3 seed. Chris Paul is doing Chris Paul things, averaging 24.0 points and 11.1 assists in his last 10 games while Jordan is still a walking double-double. The Clippers also traded Lance Stephenson to Memphis for Jeff Green, who has given them more life on the wing. As much as we like to rag on them, the Clips are still good at basketball.
Matchup to watch?
It has to be Jordan against the Dallas front court. The Mavs have gotten annihilated by big men lately, and Jordan is averaging 13.7 points and 14.8 rebounds in his last 10 games. Zaza Pachulia has fallen off a bit, while David Lee wouldn't be a good matchup to play major minutes on Jordan. Who knows, we might even see a JaVale McGee appearance to keep up with Jordan's athleticism. Either way, the Mavs have to find a way to at least contain him.