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Clippers-Warriors Preview: Pacific Powers Collide

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The Clippers face a sharp step up in competition as they defend their home court against the foes from the North.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
2014/2015 NBA Regular Season
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vs
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49-25

60-13
March 31st, 2015, 7:30 PM
Staples Center
TNT, KFWB 980 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
Win-Loss Breakdown
19-11 East 25-5
30-14 West 35-8
27-10 Home 34-2
22-15 Road 26-11
19-20 .500+ 28-8
30-5 .500- 32-5
8-2 L10 9-1
Probable Starters
Chris Paul PG Stephen Curry
J.J. Redick SG Klay Thompson
Matt Barnes SF Harrison Barnes
Blake Griffin PF Draymond Green
DeAndre Jordan C Andrew Bogut
Advanced Stats
97.01 (10th of 30) Pace 100.58 (1st of 30)
109.6 (1st if 30) ORtg 109.5 (2nd of 30)
103.0 (17th of 30) DRtg 97.4 (1st of 30)
Injuries/Other
Jamal Crawford (calf) Out
Draymond Green (shin) Day-to-day
Blake Griffin (elbow) Probable


The Back Story (Warriors Lead Season Series 2-1):

Date Venue Final
11/05/2014 Oracle Warriors 121, Clippers 104 Recap Box
12/25/2014 STAPLES Clippers 100, Warriors 86 Recap Box
03/08/2015 Oracle Warriors 106, Clippers 98 Recap Box

The Big Picture. The Clippers are riding a 7-game win streak after facing a series of subpar opponents. The streak helped the Clippers clinch a playoff berth and somewhat solidify their post-season path. One thing is for certain, if the Clippers are to have any kind of post-season success, at some point they will need to face he Warriors. This game can help to make a statement going forward. The Clippers will need to be aggressive from the start, these match-ups are always feisty so it would behoove the home team to set the tone early.

The Antagonist. The Warriors are riding a win streak of their own, 9 in a row, including impressive wins over Atlanta, Portland and Memphis. The detestable Dubs and are locked in in nearly every facet of the game and look to be fairly healthy as the season winds down, which may be a more impressive feat than their win total. The Clippers might catch a break in that department though, as the vexatious Draymond Green has been nursing a sore shin. Green missed the Warriors' last game against Milwaukee. He is listed as day-to-day but I highly doubt he would skip a chance to be an ass on national television.

The Subplots.

  • Comparison of Key Metrics: The Dubs are atop the league at pretty much everything. The are only runner-up in offensive rating by a tenth of a point. The good news, they are runner-up to the Clippers. However, the Clippers measure woefully short when it comes time to compare defensive rating and pace.
  • Jamal. Looks like Jamal might be coming back on April 7th. Not sure we can totally depend on the source, but the optimist in me wants to believe it.
  • A new 10-day. The Clippers signed Lester Hudson to a 10-day contract. Hudson is the reigning 2-time MVP of the Chinese Basketball Association. In his last 50 games, Hudson averaged 31.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists. Hudson is a 6' 3" guard, so he will be coming in to fill Jamal's role. Jordan Hamilton looks to be the final answer at the three spot for this year. Hudson does have NBA experience. He was drafted by Doc in the second round of the 2009 NBA draft but only played 16 games for Rivers. I'm going to be a sunshine pumper here and hope this could be a solid signing.
  • StubHub lawsuit. The Warriors appear to be at the center of a monopoly lawsuit filed by StubHub against Ticketmaster. According to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, Stubhub is accusing Ticketmaster and the Warriors of conspiring to form an illegal resale market by strong-arming season ticket holders into reselling tickets through their platform only. Doubtful the suit will have any affect on the court tonight, nut you never know.
  • Get the Warriors perspective at Golden State of Mind.
  • Connections: Alvin Gentry coached for the Clippers last season. Jamal Crawford played in the Bay for awhile. Matt Barnes was a member of the "We Believe" Warriors. Shaun Livingston will never be forgotten by Clipper fans, both for good and horrific reasons. Dubs power forward James Michael McAdoo is a the pseudo nephew of former Buffalo Brave great, Bob McAdoo.
  • Wikipedia EntryWarrior is a 2011 American sports drama film directed by Gavin O'Connor and starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton as two estranged brothers whose entrance into a mixed martial arts tournament forces them to come to terms with their past and each other. Nick Nolte was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the father of the two brothers. Jennifer Morrison and Frank Grillo also star.