LOS ANGELES -- Portland is looking to improve its 15-17 road record as the Trail Blazers face the LA Clippers at Staples Center tonight. The Blazers still have nine road games including tonight’s of the 16 total games remaining on the schedule.
Before tonight’s contest, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and Clippers head coach Doc Rivers addressed the media with injury updates and more.
Clippers Injury Update: Luc Mbah a Moute (left knee) is out. Coach Rivers said that Mbah a Moute went through practice yesterday, but was only able to go through about the first 20 minutes. He also mentioned, the Clippers are not sure that Mbah a Moute will make a return to the court this season.
Coach Rivers knows how important it is to make sure the Trail Blazers backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum don’t see the ball go through the net to start the game. Rivers said there are a couple things they have to do when defending Lillard and McCollum:
“Try to get it out of their hands as much as possible. We do everything- we switch, we trap, we try to be physical. In today’s game that’s a hard thing to do, so that takes that out… And that makes them even more dangerous. The biggest thing, though, honestly, is not allowing them to score in the first eight seconds because that’s where they’re lethal,” River said.
Hear from Coach Rivers right here:
Blazers Injury Update: The Trail Blazers had initially listed backup wings Evan Tuner (left knee) and Rodney Hood (right hip) as questionable for Tuesday’s game.
Coach Stotts gave an update and said Tuner is available, while Hood is out for tonight's game.
Stotts previewed this matchup vs. the Clippers and he gave a lot of credit to the LA’s second unit for their success this season, especially against his team. Stotts discussed how backup guard Lou Williams “is essentially a starter” during the Blazers’ shootaround this morning. He had more to add to that statement tonight.
“You can’t fall asleep on anybody. You look at Williams, [Danilo] Gallinari, obviously but, [Landry] Shamet comes in and he makes shots. [Montrezl] Harrell does what he does. I don’t think you can take anybody for granted who is on the floor for them – that’s one of the advantages they have… I think everybody is capable of scoring the ball when they have the chance,” Stotts said.
Hear from Coach Stotts right here: