One of the quirks of the 2020-21 NBA season is the two-game set in which two teams play each other twice in succession at the same location. Today will be the first time the Clippers take part in one of those sets, as they face the Warriors for the second time in three days, again in San Francisco.
The prior meeting went swimmingly for the Clippers, who debuted their full rotation for the first time this season. The game seemed to turn on a Draymond Green flagrant foul on Kawhi Leonard in the fourth quarter, which galvanized both Leonard and the Clippers to close out the Warriors late.
When: Friday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. PT
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
How to watch/listen: ESPN, AM 570 Radio
Opposing perspective: Golden State of Mind
Projected Starting Lineups:
Clippers: Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, James Wiseman
Clippers: Jay Scrubb — OUT
Warriors: Klay Thompson, Alen Smailagic, Marquese Chriss — OUT
The Big Picture:
The Clippers succeeded Wednesday by forcing anyone but Stephen Curry to try to beat them, limiting him to 13 points on 17 shot attempts. It continued a trend of the Clippers honing in on the opposing team’s primary shot creator, and giving them a variety of defensive coverages to keep them off balance.
Meanwhile, the Clippers have been capable of divvying up their own offensive responsibilities. Five players scored in double figures against Golden State, and five players are averaging in double figures for the season. That doesn’t even include Patrick Beverley, who broke out with 20 points against the Spurs Tuesday and has seen a steady uptick in his offensive production. The Clippers have so many options on offense, and they finally have time to work together to get on the same page.
The Warriors were playing from behind for much of the two teams’ last meeting before building a six-point lead in the final period. They just didn’t have enough juice to hold off the Clippers late. Part of the problem for Golden State was that the team didn’t come close to approaching its normal 3-point volume. The Warriors average 13 made threes per game, but only had eight against the Clippers. That volume is relatively low for a Clippers opponent, which suggests there could be some course correction in the team’s second matchup.
What else are you looking forward to seeing in the second game between these two teams?