Playoff Preview: Clippers-Warriors
USA Today Sports
Under pretty inexplicable circumstances, and with rather unfortunate timing, the postseason has fallen upon the Golden State Warriors. For the second season, fans are robbed of a complete, #fullsquad experience. Andrew Bogut is sidelined for an injured rib, and the Los Angeles Clippers won’t have to deal with that big, rim-protecting Australian until announced otherwise.
During the regular season, accumulative statistics and other various collections of data are used to conceptualize what
will may happen when two-teams meet in a best-of-seven series. Everything is magnified during postseason play. Games are reduced to how each competitor matches up with the other, and how timely players and coaches are able to make adjustments to counter the opponent’s’ plans of exploitation. These games are proverbial chess matches that take place on a basketball court.
Assuming Mark Jackson thinks David Lee and Jermaine O’Neal are the two most-capable of containing the explosiveness that is the tandem of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan would be acting beyond my pay grade. Jackson’s second season at the helm for GSW, to anyone not rigorously following along, has been interesting [...] to say the least. Here, “Reverend” Jackson’s rotations will undoubtedly be the masses’ subject of observation throughout this series. Whether or not he can successfully prepare, and interchange, Lee, O’Neal, Marreese Speights, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala to address in-game situations, appropriately, remains to be seen.
Seeing things in a brighter outlook; these Warriors are players with ample, individual skills that may prove capable of overcoming even the most inept coaching. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson allow this statement to be true, but so do players such as Green, Iguodala, and Lee — but only if they come together as a cohesive unit. Offensively, the Warriors backcourt poses less of a concern on offense than they do on the defensive end; Curry, Thompson [insert name of appropriate swing-man, here] will have their hands full.
An Obligatory Comparison
Chris Paul vs. Steph Curry
Assists [per game] – 10.7 vs 8.5 [1st vs. 8th League Wide]
Points Created by Assists [per game] – 24.5 vs. 19.2 [1st vs. 7th League Wide]
Points [per game] – 19 vs. 24
Entering last night, the Clippers had won 16 of their previous 20 games. J.J. Redick played in five-games since his return from injury earlier this month. Averaging nearly 39 percent from the three-point line, 40 percent from the field, while scoring an average of 18 points per game during that span; Reddick is an illusive, veteran shooter. He’s going to run around screens just as Curry and Thompson will, an artform Warriors fans know full-well.
Redick and the Clippers have seemingly elevated their game to the next level at the right time, signifying that Doc Rivers has done a fine job managing player-personnel, this season. Rivers quest for
change reform within Staples Center started after ordering the Laker championship banners be concealed during Clippers’ home games, prior to the season. Collectively, this team is ready to go toe-to-toe with Oklahoma City and San Antonio en route to the Finals, which is good, because if they get passed Golden State — the Clippers will likely end up having to do that.
Anyone watching this series, with no ties to either side; enjoy this postseason gift the basketball gods have provided us.
All of the names, dunks, three’s, lobs, oops, and excitement could make for the most entertaining series of the entire NBA playoffs. Hopefully, however, that’s not the case.
While it’s bitter seeing two, top-tier, explosive teams pair-off straight away — the Warriors and Clippers meeting for a best-of-seven series can’t, not, be entertaining.
This is going to be exciting, to say the least.