Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE
The Clippers and Warriors meet in a preseason preview of what could be a good regular season rivalry. The Warriors have yet to see their new team together, but if the pieces all fit they could definitely be competing for a playoff spot in April.
|2012/2013 NBA Preseason|
|October 22nd, 2012, 7:30 PM|
|Prime Ticket, NBA-TV, KFWB 980 AM
|Chris Paul||PG||Jarrett Jack|
|Willie Green||SG||Klay Thompson|
|Caron Butler||SF||Harrison Barnes|
|Blake Griffin||PF||David Lee|
|DeAndre Jordan||C||Festus Ezeli|
|Advanced Stats (2011/2012)|
|89.2 (27th of 30)||Pace||92.3 (10th of 30)|
|108.5 (4th of 30)||ORtg||105.4 (14th of 30)|
|105.7 (18th of 30)||DRtg||109.1 (27th of 30)|
|Chauncey Billups (Achilles surgery) out||Steph Curry (ankle) out|
|Trey Thompkins (knee) out||Andre Bogut (ankle) out|
|Lamar Odom (knees) ?|
|Grant Hill (knee) ?|
The Big Picture:
So obviously I'm running a bit behind on this preview. As you know I had the CP3 Day celebrity game yesterday, and then there was a power outage in Long Beach last night. Even though the power was back on this morning, my internet connection didn't come back, so I had to have a FiOS technician come out to address that. Long story short, I'm just now getting to this preview, but it's only preseason, so no big deal, right? The Clippers have been losing then winning all preseason, so they should be due for a win tonight after losing in Salt Lake City to the Jazz on Saturday. Of course the Clippers were missing three starters and three more rotation players for that game, so it doesn't really tell us much. Being preseason, it's hard to know who is going to pay for any one game -- Blake Griffin rested Saturday, maybe Chris Paul will rest tonight, you never know. For the Warriors we do know that both Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut will be out. Bogut is still recovering from his broken ankle last season and has yet to make his Warriors debut -- he won't make it in preseason, but is still hopeful to play on opening night. Curry twisted his ankle for the quadrillionth time in their win in Portland Friday and will take the rest of the preseason off. This one doesn't seem to be bad, and he should be fine for the regular season, but it goes without saying that it's worrisome how frequently he turns that ankle. I love Curry and think he has the potential to be great, but these ankle issues could really derail his career.
- Comparison of key metrics. When Mark Jackson was hired as the Warriors coach, he talked big about defense. Well, in his first season in Oakland, the Warriors were just as bad defensively as ever -- only three NBA teams were worse. Of course, by the end the Dubs were so far in the tank, trying desperately to hold onto their first round draft pick, that it's hard to know what to think of numbers from last year's team. They're probably irrelevant.
- Warriors in the playoffs? Don't look now, but this Warriors team is very talented and could be very good this season. If healthy, a starting lineup of Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee and Bogut has several proven players and a couple with huge upside. They also have guys like Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry coming off the bench. With Kevin Love hurt in Minnesota and Dirk Nowitzki hurt in Dallas, the Warriors have to thinking they can get off to a fast start and get right into the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, assuming they themselves have their injured players back in a timely manner.
- Hack-a-Jordan. It's preseason, so he won't do it tonight (or if he does, he's the biggest douche in the NBA), but Mark Jackson used the hack-a-Jordan several times last season, and all the factors point to even more use of it this season. DeAndre is more of a threat with the ball, and even worse at the line, so far in preseason. Jackson and Gregg Popovich in San Antonio are guaranteed to use the strategy at some point this season.
- Odom and Hill. Lamar Odom and Grant Hill have each missed the last two games, resting sore knees. Hopefully they're feeling better and can play tonight. Odom could certainly use the work and the exercise.
- Suddenly a busy schedule. From Saturday's game in Utah to this coming Thursday's game in Denver, the Clippers are playing four games in six days, a regular season pace. After Thursday, they have six days without a preseason game to prepare for opening night (just nine days away now!) next Wednesday versus the Grizzlies.
- Get the Warriors perspective at Golden State of Mind.
- Lyrical reference:
Flobots -- White Flag Warriors
We'd rather make our children
" We request to negotiate "
Martyrs then Murderers
" We come to you unarmed "
We'd rather make our children
" We desire to communicate "
WHITE FLAG WARRIORS
" You can not do us harm "
You may not be familiar with Flobots -- if you are, it's no doubt for their minor hit Handlebars, which is a pretty effing awesome song. True story -- I was on a cruise with my whole family last Christmas, and the ship's Karaoke lounge, which had a pretty weak selection, for some inexplicable reason had Handlebars. So my two nieces and I of course had to do it. I'm very certain there was no one else in the room that had ever heard the song before, but I must say, we nailed it.