The Miami Heat will host the Los Angeles Clippers at the American Airlines this Sunday at 7pm for what will be the second matchup between the two teams in less than a month. The Clippers emerged victorious in January, with a 104-90 point victory at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. With both sides jostling for Playoff positions, this promises to be a fascinating match-up between two star-studded line-ups.
The Miami Heat are struggling a little this season in what is a competitive Eastern Conference, but remain in the Playoff hunt. On Sunday night they will have home-court advantage where they are 16-9 so far this season. The Heat certainly have one of the strongest line-ups in the league, with recently named 2016 NBA All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh (twelfth and eleventh time respectively) assisted by the UK's most talented baller and two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng. Their bench guarantees them the right mix of youth and experience, with the talent of rookies Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson at their disposal. Top defender Hassan Whiteside has just come back after a six-game absence and the Heat will certainly hope he will be at his best to stop the Clippers’ attack with his rebounding and league-leading blocking skills.
Player to Watch: Chris Bosh – The two-time NBA Champion appears rejuvenated after a career-threatening bout with blood clots on his lung last year. He is a great example for his younger teammates and coach Erik Spoelstra has recently praised him for his dedication and leadership. His consistency and ability to attack are impressive and his style has evolved over the years. He went from being an interior scorer to being a specialist from three-point range. His defense has also improved over the years, making him a complete player at all levels.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are coming off a very impressive month of January with 11 wins from 14 games, which earned coach Doc Rivers the award for the NBA’s Western Conference Coach of the Month. Sitting comfortably in fourth-place in the Western Conference, the Clips recent form is particularly noteworthy given the absence of their top scorer Blake Griffin since Christmas. This appears to have empowered the rest of the team, with recently named 2016 NBA All-Star Chris Paul able to carry his team with his offensive creativity and clever defence. It doesn’t all rest on Chris Paul’s shoulders, however, as they can also count on the experience of NBA veterans Paul Pierce and Jamal Crawford, the rebounding skills of DeAndre Jordan and the hot shooting of J.J. Redick. All these elements combined contribute to making the Clippers one of the strongest teams in the NBA and certainly one of the most exciting to watch.
Player to Watch: Outside the big names pf Paul and Jordan J.J. Redick is great to watch. The 31 year-old is having an outstanding season so far, arguably his best season since he joined the Clippers in 2013. He currently leads the league in three-point shooting percentage, hitting over 48 per cent from behind the arc on more than five shots attempts per game. Besides being one of the elite shooters in the league, Redick is also a disciplined defender whose contribution is very important to his team.
Who wins? Tweet your prediction using #NBASUNDAYS
NBA Sundays on BT Sport – a live NBA game every Sunday. This week on 07 February the Miami Heat will host the Los Angeles Clippers on BT Sport 1 at 7.00pm
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