Playoff Preview: #3 L.A. Clippers vs #6 Golden St. Warriors

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There are rivalries, and then there’s Clippers-Warriors.

These two teams don’t like each other and the war of words has already commenced well ahead of a ball being bounced. Klay Thompson accused Blake Griffin of being, essentially, a soft basketball player who flops all too often. Griffin gave the ultimate no-sell response about just wanting to play ball.

The Clippers concreted themselves as the next hot team in the Western Conference this season and, had they won just one more game, would’ve stolen the second seed from the Thunder and given themselves much less work to do in the first round.

Golden State, despite losing Andrew Bogut (more on that later), are the team most likely to turn supernova and shoot the lights out of a series to progress against the odds. The Clippers aren’t the toughest defensive team in the league either, which only serves to heighten the odds of a Curry-Thompson thermonuclear detonation.

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Team Vs Team

Blake Griffin is a more athletic, defensively superior David Lee. Right on the precipice of the great big men in the league, Griffin added a mid-range jumper to his arsenal this season to make players respect him while facing the basket. Chris Paul remains a visionary point guard like no other and still is one of the purest shooters of the ball. Add DeAndre Jordan becoming a contender for Defensive Player of the Year and you have a tough mix.

Golden State has the Splash Brothers, but after that the pickings get slim. David Lee and Andre Iguodala are both solid complementary pieces, but neither can take over a game as Igoudala’s offense and Lee’s defense leave a lot to be desired. The loss of Andrew Bogut’s no-nonsense interior defense could prove terminal against the Clippers’ dynamic big men tandem.

Seasons’ Meetings

Game 1: Warriors 115, Clippers 126 (10/31/13, Staples Center)
Chris Paul torched the Warriors for 42 points and 15 assists, three of which came on three alley-oop passes to Blake Griffin within a 30-second period that reminded everyone why the Clippers are so much fun.

Game 2: Clippers 103, Warriors 105 (12/25/13, Oracle Arena)
Draymond Green and Blake Griffin were both ejected from this feisty game. Steph Curry scored six points in the final three minutes before Klay Thompson blocked Chris Paul’s attempted game-winner. David Lee had 23 points and 13 rebounds. The two teams had to be separated by arena security after an altercation in the tunnel after the final buzzer.

Game 3: Clippers 92, Warriors 111 (1/30/14, Oracle Arena)
Andrew Bogut and David Lee grabbed a combined 28 rebounds as the Warriors outrebounded the Clippers 56-34 and outscored them 66-22 in the paint. No technical fouls or flagrant fouls despite the antics in the previous encounter.

Game 4: Warriors 98, Clippers 111 (3/12/14, Staples Center)
The Clippers win meant that all four games were won by the team playing at home. Only one of the game was particularly close but only twice did a team score below 100 points.

Game Schedule

Game 1: Saturday, April 19th | at Los Angeles | 3:30pm ET | ABC |

Game 2: Monday, April 21st | at Los Angeles |10:30pm ET | TNT |

Game 3: Thursday, April 24th | at Golden State | 10:30pm ET | TNT |

Game 4: Sunday, April 27th | at Golden State | 3:30pm ET | ABC |

*Game 5: Tuesday, April 29th | at Los Angeles | TBD |

*Game 6: Thursday, May 1st | at Golden State | TBD |

*Game 7: Saturday, May 3rd | at Los Angeles | TBD |

* – if necessary

Parking: Staples Center parking

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Tags: Blake Griffin Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant Los Angeles Clippers

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