Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors
12:30 p.m. PST
March 8, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket/ ABC
Video of the Day
Will this reunion happen today?
1. Who’s more likely to win MVP: Steph Curry or James Harden?
Andy Liu, (@AndyKHLiu): As the resident Golden State Warriors guy, I am probably inclined to go with Stephen Curry but I think James Harden has the media cache right now to seal up the vote. He’s had the better counting numbers, national TV shootouts, and an exhausting amount of GM backing. Both are deserving, but Harden leads by a bit right now.
Fred Katz, (@FredKatz): I’d say Curry is more likely because of his flashiness, publicity and general likability, but my (hypothetical) vote would go to Harden. The way he’s carried Houston with Dwight Howard out for such an extended period has been nothing short of remarkable. Disclaimer: If Anthony Davis, LeBron James or Russell Westbrook had played more games, I’d probably pick one of them.
Seth Partnow, (@SethPartnow): Russell Westbrook anyone? If the question is “deserving,” probably Curry. If it’s who will win it, I think the tendency to reward late season narratives (see Noah’s DPOY last year, especially the margin) cuts against guys like Steph and Harden who have been outstanding from the get go.
2. Steve Kerr has shortened the Warriors’ rotations and played smaller in the past couple of games. Why is that?
Liu: The games have gotten closer and he is playing the players that are good enough to take them to the Finals. This eliminates Marreese Speights, David Lee, and Leandro Barbosa from the rotation because unless they’re scorching on offense, their defense is a huge negative. Draymond Green at the center position surrounded by long-limbed forwards at all other positions represent an amorphous amoeba of defense that’s both lockdown on defense and scary quick on offense.
Katz: Kerr even mentioned the other day that the Warriors’ free-throw rate is remarkable with Draymond Green playing the 5. Golden State is loaded with positional versatility. It’s one of the reasons the roster meshes so well defensively. Green can play 3, 4 or 5. Iggy can slot into either wing spot. So can Klay. Curry can play on or off the ball. Livingston can switch onto anyone. It’s a beautifully composed roster.
Partnow: Experimentation? Especially preparing for the possibility of being without Bogut for some or all of the postseason. Getting real sustained reps with “five-out” lineups with Green at center at least means in the unfortunate event Bogut does get injured, they are on familiar ground.
3. How seamless do you anticipate Blake Griffin’s return to be for the Clippers?
Lui: Very. It’s not as if Doc River reinvented the offense with Blake Griffin out. Chris Paul has kicked his game into overdrive, along with DeAndre Jordan, and Griffin’s return allows them to relax a little bit before the postseason.
Katz: I don’t know how rusty Griffin will be if he plays against the Warriors on Sunday. Maybe he’ll be a little less accurate as a shooter to start. But ultimately, the traits Griffin brings (athleticism, facilitating, ball-handling) should come back to normal pretty quickly if not right away.