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Clippers vs. Golden State - Game Preview

2009/2010 NBA Regular Season
Staples Center
April 10th, 2010, 7:30 PM
FSN Prime Ticket, 980 AM
Probable starters:
Baron Davis
PG Reggie Williams
Eric Gordon
SG Stephen Curry
Rasual Butler
SF Anthony Morrow
Drew Gooden
PF Corey Maggette
Chris Kaman
C Ronny Turiaf


The Back Story:

The Big Picture:

The last time the Clippers played the Warriors, they lost 121-103 in Staples Center in a game that featured a 37 point swing, from LA up 17 in the first quarter to down 20 early in the third.  As we were leaving the arena, I said to Lisa Dillman of the LA Times that the team wouldn't win again this season.  That was seven games ago, and they're 0-7 so far.  I would say that perhaps they caught a break when Don Nelson broke the all time wins record for a coach on Wednesday - the Warriors had something to play for before, and now they don't.  But the truth is, they remember the feeling of running about and down the floor and having fun against the Clippers, and they're going to want to do it again.  It will be up to the Clippers to have enough pride to stop them.  I don't expect that to happen.


The Antagonist:

The Warriors won 4 of the last 6 games to get the all time win record for Nelson, showing that a little motivation goes a long way.  As a matter of fact, after winning just 4 of their first 34 road games, the Dubs have won three in the last two weeks to help secure the record.  And they've done it all without Monta Ellis, who must have the worst case of the flu in the history of the universe.  He's missed six straight games beginning with the last Clippers meeting, and is not expected back for this one.  Out two weeks with the flu?  Really Monta?  Are we sure he hasn't been riding mopeds again?  In addition to Ellis, the Warriors have been without starting center Andris Biedrins, starting forward Anthony Randolph, and about five other guys you have heard of them.  This leaves them mainly with a bunch of guys you haven't heard of, who just happen to love scoring points against the Clippers.  In the last two meethings, the Warriors have put up 252 points total against LAC.  Ouch.  

The Subplots:

  • Clips Nation Night!  The real reason to go to the game tonight, perhaps the only reason, is for Clips Nation Night.  If you haven't bought tickets yet, you still can.  If you are a season ticket holder and you just want to go to the party, you can do that too.  All the details are here.  One note:  the flyer says to check in at the Star Plaza entrance.  In fact, they will be set up for us at the 11th Street Entrance, which is closer to the VIP room we're in.  So check in at the 11th Street Entrace at 5:00, and we'll see you there.  Once the game starts, it's likely all down hill.
  • Clips Nation mojo?  It's worth noting that one of the most decisive wins of the year occurred when the Clippers drubbed the Warriors way back in November during a Clips Nation viewing party.  So maybe there's some sort of Clips Nation mojo that will ensure a victory tonight.
  • Seven game losing streak.  A loss tonight would equal the longest losing streak of the season at eight games.  Of course, I expect them to finish on a 10 game losing streak.
  • Steph and the D-Leaguers.  This is my new name for the Warriors.  Steph and the D-Leaguers.  It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?  After Tyreke Evans lit up the Clippers for 28-7-6 on Thursday, it's now Stephen Curry's turn to put up a statement game in the race for Rookie of the Year.  It's not really a race - Evans is going to win.  But I'm not actually convinced that Curry's not better.
  • The race to the bottom.  With seven straight losses and nine in their last ten, the Clippers are getting closer to overtaking (undertaking?) a few more teams in the lottery race.  The Clippers have 27 wins - the Pistons and Sixers have 26, and the Wizards and Kings have 25.  Remember, there are no tie-breakers in the lottery standings - it's just a coin toss for draft spot (if you're not in the top three), and you split the corresponding ping pong balls as evenly as possible.  We know that the Clippers are completely capable of losing their last three.  They've got the Warriors tonight, followed by Dallas and the Lakers.  But can those other teams win any?  Detroit managed to beat Miami tonight in a big surprise.  They have Minnesota left on their schedule, so that looks promising.  I'd be surprised if Philly wins again playing for a lame duck coach.  You can forget about Sacramento winning two more, unless they play the Clippers twice in their final three (they don't).  There's an outside chance that Washington could win a couple.  But overall, my prediction is the Clippers finish tied with Detroit for the seventh worst record.
  • Smith in, Outlaw out.  According to Lisa Dillman, Craig Smith will likely play tonight, while Travis Outlaw probably will not.  Both of them missed the game in Sacramento.  Outlaw has missed the last three.
  • Defense?  The Clippers have been pathetically bad on defense in recent weeks.  The Warriors will spread the floor and look to beat people off the dribble.  It doesn't matter who has the ball.  Anthony Tolliver, Curry, Reggie Williams, Corey Maggette - they all have skills, and they will look to break down the defense.  Lethargic, unmotivated defense won't do.  Someone needs to take it personally and stop these guys, of their going to hang 120 on us again.
  • Clips Nation Night.  Did I mention that tonight is Clips Nation Night?
  • The Clippers and Clips Nation.  The Clippers have been pretty good to me overall.  Clips Nation Night was really the organization's idea, and the raffle and fan tunnel are totally their doing.  They've also been including links to Clips Nation content in their emails most of the season.  When I got today's email, I was more than a little surprised to see a link to my recap from the Kings loss.  It was the most flattering description of the team.  But they linked to it anyway.  Good for them.
  • Clips Nation Night.  By the way, Clips Nation Night is tonight.  Check in at the 11th Street entrance at 5:00 PM.
  • Movie Quote: 

    For those regarded as warriors, when engaged in combat the vanquishing of thine enemy can be the warrior's only concern. Suppress all human emotion and compassion. Kill whoever stands in thy way, even if that be Lord God, or Buddha himself. This truth lies at the heart of the art of combat.

    Hanzo, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003).  I didn't love the Kill Bill's.... certainly not the way I loved Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs.  I mean, it's Tarantino's quirky dialogue that I like best, and there wasn't enough of that in the Kill Bills for my tastes.  But I appreciated Kill Bill.
  • Get the Warriors perspective at Golden State of Mind.