Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors
7:30 p.m. PST
March 31, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket/ TNT
Video of the Day
Round Two Tonight?
1. What’s the single most impressive thing about the Golden State Warriors so far this season?
Andy Liu, (@AndyKHLiu): That they seemed to peak in the first month of the NBA season but has somehow maintained that level of play, if not exceeding it, as the always unnecessarily long 82 game stretch comes to a close. Look at the Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers of last season. Teams don’t usually play great all season but the Golden State Warriors have done just that.
Brandon Tomyoy, (@dingyu): Their defense. It’s not often that a team is comprised of so many players that are interchangeable defensively, but the Warriors are able to do this because so many of their players are similar in size and wingspan. This allows them to rotate and switch onto defenders without having to be concerned about who ends up guarding the shooter or ball handler, and the system has become the calling card that has kept them with the best defensive efficiency in the league for the season.
Seth Partnow, (@SethPartnow): Their combination of offensive pace and defensive prowess. It’s not that a team can’t look to run on offense and play good defense. But the Dubs play fast and then play great defense as well. It’s unusual to say the least.
2. What’s the best game plan to slow the Warriors down?
Liu: Play good offense. That’s obviously easier said than done but the Warriors do struggle on offense at times when their defense fails to create running opportunities on the break. If you have a point guard that can probe, control an offense, protect the ball, and slow a game down, you have a chance. Which leads us to…
Tomyoy: The Clippers’ players have commented a lot during this recent winning streak on how great the ball movement has been, and that will likely be a point of emphasis for their game plan against the Warriors as well. It follows one of many mantras that has been mentioned over and over this season, and that’s to give up good shots for great shots.
Partnow: Hope they miss? But seriously, getting the ball out of Curry’s hands and forcing their screeners (Green, Bogut, Speights) to beat you with scoring might be the best defense. Offensively, beating Curry up a little defending screens and the like.
3. True or False: The Clippers are a team the Warriors would rather not meet in the playoffs.
Lui: I think the Warriors could care less who they play in the postseason outside of the San Antonio Spurs but the Los Angeles Clippers might have eclipsed the Memphis Grizzlies as their second-biggest matchup problem. Blake Griffin doesn’t play well against Draymond Green but he still had his moments at times and Chris Paul is about the only player in the league that can chase Stephen Curry around screens in an effective manner. There is a chance here and if injury-prone Andrew Bogut gets hurt again…
Tomyoy: Is there such a thing as a ‘soft’ false? The advantage in the matchup is indeed with the Warriors, but even if the teams were closer, the Clippers have only won 3 games at Oracle Arena dating back to 2009. That said, the Warriors have only won 5 games on the Clippers’ home court in that same span, and there’s an unpredictability that comes along with such contentious rivalries. Plus, I doubt there are many folks who would bet against an angry Chris Paul.