Clippers vs Warriors Matchup Information:
For all the glamour match ups in the Western Conference playoffs the Warriors versus the Clippers does not come to mind. Both clubs have been relegated to the lottery in recent years. This could all change this season if they meet in the playoffs. Together they are two of the youngest and most exciting teams in the Western Conference and this season could be the start of a solid long-term rivalry.
Here’s a breakdown of a potential Clippers versus Warriors playoff matchup.
The Season Series: The Warriors took three out of four from the Clippers in the season series, with a win in LA and two wins at Oracle Arena. The three games have followed pretty similar script. If the Warriors are hot and hitting their perimeter shots they are tough to beat. In the two wins at Oracle Arena Stephon Curry shot a combined 12 for 16 on three’s, a major factor in Golden State winning convincingly in both games. The sole Warriors loss, a Clippers 26 point victory, was marked by the two main Warriors perimeter shooters, Klay Thompson and Stephon Curry, shooting a combined 1 for 10 from behind the arc. It’s clear that Golden State relies heavily on Stephon Curry and his ability to hit open jumpers.
The Clippers followed their standard recipe for victory in their lone win versus the Warriors this season, a 26 point win at Staples Center. Eric Bledsoe was the star off the bench with 17 points, teaming with Chris Paul who had a dominant game, filling the box score.
Key Matchup for the Clippers: Blake Griffin has put up solid numbers versus the Warriors, including an epic +39 in the sole Clippers victory versus the Warriors this year. With Andrew Bogut chronically injured and David Lee historically bad defensively Griffin has an outstanding opportunity to dominate the post along with DeAndre Jordan. The Warriors are undersized inside and Griffin should be able to exploit the likes of David Lee and Festus Ezuli. Look for Griffin to have a huge series.
Key Matchup for the Warriors: Stephon Curry, at this point in his career, is arguably the greatest perimeter shooter in NBA history. He can score off the dribble or as a spot up shooter. When on Curry is nearly unstoppable with his quick release and ability to create his own shot. The fortunes of the Warriors rely heavily on Curry. His amazing ability from behind the arc opens up the court inside, creating spacing and increased efficiency on offense. Due to his amazingly quick release its hard to formulate a strong defensive plan versus Curry. For the Clippers its important they deny him the ball as much as possible and make him work on the defensive end to ensure he’s expending maximum energy. The key with Curry is to do whatever it takes to slow him down.
Home Court Advantage: The Clippers will have home court advantage and beyond the early season loss to the Warriors should have a decided home court advantage, mainly due to the youth of the Warriors. Until you’ve been there It’s hard to know how we team will respond in a big spot. This is a big spot for the Warriors.
Health: The Clippers are relatively healthy. The Warriors have dealt with Andrew Bogut injury problems all year. When healthy Bogut is a difference maker, a strong defensive presence for the Warriors. Unfortunately he is seldom healthy. Although he’s been playing effectively as of late its hard to rely on Bogut in the playoffs due to his history of back problems.
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