April 7, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings shooting guard Francisco Garcia (32) and power forward DeMarcus Cousins (15) defend a pass by Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) in the second half of the game at the Staples Center. Clippers won 109-94. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Tonight's game: Clippers take on Kings

The Los Angeles Clippers (9-6) meet the Sacramento Kings (4-10) for the first time this season at Staples. Game time is 7:30pm.

Last season, the Clippers won all three match-ups with the Kings by an average margin of 10 points.  DeMarcus Cousins and Blake Griffin had a testy exchange in their final contest.

Our take: This looks to be an easy win for the Clippers on their home floor, but we’ve said that before. The Clippers, for reasons unknown to all but themselves, seem to find ways to play down to inferior opponents (witness: losses to Cleveland, Golden State, and New Orleans this season). The Kings aren’t entirely bad, either, and they did beat the Lakers last week, after all. With Center DeMarcus Cousins, J.J. Hickson, Jason Thompsen, and Tyreke Evans, the Kings boast a young, talented roster with lots of future promise. The Clippers, however, with Chauncey Billups back and lots of firepower off the bench, should get a win, especially given the fact that the Kings are playing the second of back-to-back nights. Our prediction: Clippers 110, Kings 92.

Tags: Blake Griffin Chauncey Billups Chris Paul DeAndre Jordan Eric Bledsoe Jamal Crawford Lamar Odom Los Angeles Clippers Matt Barnes Vinny Del Negro

  • http://www.facebook.com/WammyGiveaway Alfredo Rodriguez

    This season, the Clippers are going to be weak against lottery teams, plain and simple. They are very good against teams who have a personal vendetta. Spurs, because they swept the Clippers. Grizzlies, being their first round opponent. Lakers, for being the true team of Los Angeles. Bulls, for Tom Thibodeau over Vinny Del Negro. Heat, the current NBA champions. When there’s a personal matter involved, the Clippers get highly involved.

    Unfortunately, there’s no sense of urgency when it comes to lottery teams. Like the Clippers of old, these teams are losers, weak and pathetic, so the Clippers of current dismiss them as such, thinking they’ll be easy to contend with, a cakewalk. They’re so caught up with trying to beat the best in the league and reaching for that championship that they’ve forgotten what it was like when they used to be the losers of the NBA. Ever since the move from Buffalo to Los Angeles, they were the primary laughingstock and living joke, until a vetoed trade that would have sent CP3 to the Lakers changed all that and then some in the lockout season.

    This is where Chauncey Billups comes in. His savvy and basketball IQ allows the team to run two sets in one play, making the team difficult to defend. He’s a clutch player who can make those last second shots count. His leadership brings calmness and a sense of urgency to a team complete of talent, but void of wisdom, patience and maturity. He was their only hope into defeating lottery teams, who play for pride, if nothing else, in a time of rebuilding and regrouping. The Clippers lost all of that against the New Orleans Hornets on Monda. Just look at the last seconds of the game when they couldn’t even make a 3-pointer. Had Chauncey been playing, the Clippers would have been able to defeat the Hornets. And the Cavaliers. And the Warriors. And every single lottery and bubble team.

    Now that Chauncey’s back, they should have no problem into defeating a lottery team in the Sacramento Kings tonight.

    • http://www.facebook.com/idenchasy Ian Denchasy

      Words of wisdom, Alfredo, but things do seem to be changing. As you said, with Chauncey back they may regain a killer instinct and blow these weaker teams out. Their destruction of Sac was a start. A good indicator will be their next game against Dallas on Wednesday. On paper, it should be a blowout, so we’ll see. Thanks for the comment!