The NBA Christmas schedule is filled with exciting games for the tip-off of the season, but Los Angeles Clipper fans will be looking forward to the nightcap. Ever since the Clippers acquired point-guard Chris Paul from the Hornets, the fans have visions of playoffs for this often embarrassing franchise.
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The odds for NBA Christmas Daywere released with the Clippers as 2.5 point road favorites over the Golden State Warriors. If that wasn’t odd enough, the Clippers also received the public backing with 85% of the early money coming in on L.A. That coupled with the preseason victory over the Lakers has pushed this betting line to -3 in some places.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry suffered a right ankle injury in preseason, but he should be able to suit up for the Christmas day clash with the Clippers. If not rookie Charles Jenkins brings a physical presence with a defensive intensity to the position that new coach Mark Jackson has lauded up to this point.
"I thought he was very good," Jackson said. "He paid attention to what we asked him to do, I thought he ran his basketball team, he defended very well. He just did some very good things on both sides of the ball."
The Warriors have quietly nabbed swingman Brandon Rush and this gives the Warriors much need depth and versatility. The moves that the Clippers have made in the offseason were much “louder”.
Chris Paul joins Blake Griffin as the main acquisition of the offseason, but not the only one. LA also landed Caron Butler and claimed veteran Chauncey Billups off of waivers. The Clippers are making all the right moves to make this team a contender but don’t look for an immediate impact. Like some of the other teams that made a big splash in free agency, chemistry will take some time.
Preseason is a different type of game than regular season. It is a less defensive game with less preparation needed. The Clippers are being over hyped and that has changed this line dramatically. The Clippers will be a vastly improved team this season, but they don’t deserve to be a road favorite to open the season.