Come Christmas, the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers will face off in the game of the night (fine it’s the only late night game, you got me) that surely promises to be entertaining. So who better to bring in to talk Warriors-Clippers than Jovan Buha of the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate blog of Clipperblog?

J.M. Poulard, Warriors World: As we speak right now, the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers are tied with the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the Pacific division. Seriously, look it up. And given the fact that the Lakers won back-to-back titles recently and the Clippers were chosen by many to break out and make the postseason this year, I would say that this bodes well for the Dubs.

Not only are the Warriors tied with these teams, but they even outwitted them by simply not getting too involved in the Chris Paul sweepstakes and by signing DeAndre Jordan to an offer sheet that the Clips were forced to match.

In a nutshell, the Warriors front office ran circles around L.A.’s teams and even signed Kwame Brown for the modest figure of $7 million. I was going to pick the Dubs to win all 66 games this season, but figured I was aiming low. Consequently, I’m predicting that Golden State will go 82-0, with the first of many wins coming at the expense of the Clippers on Christmas day. Can you now convince me that Blake Griffin has enough dunks left in him from last season to outpace GSW in the pacific?

Jovan Buha, Clipperblog: Ah J.M., you’re quite funny my friend. 82-0? For these Warriors? As Golden State was busy signing arguably the biggest bust in NBA history, the Clippers re-signed DeAndre Jordan (to go along with their acquisition of Caron Butler) and traded for the best point guard in the NBA — Chris Paul.

Now the Clippers boast the second or third best duo in the league (behind Miami’s James-Wade and arguably behind Oklahoma City’s Durant-Westbrook), added a plethora of veterans and shooters, and are looking like they may actually contend for a championship within the next couple of years.

Enjoy the tied records…it’s only a matter of time before the Clippers are looking down at the Dubs in the standings. I thought this was going to be a close game – possibly even a Warriors victory – before the Clips got CP3. Now? This game is over before it even started.

J.M. Poulard: Way to rain on my 82-0 parade. Ever since you put that picture of you and Rubio up, it’s as if you and he keep exchanging behind the back no look passes with me caught in the middle of your two against one fast break. You just wait for that flagrant foul…

If Chris Paul was able to take that New Orleans team into the postseason last year, I can only wonder what he will do with this Clippers team this year. I do worry about the Clippers’ ability to play consistent basketball with the unforgiving schedule but I do think that Lob City will indeed win the Pacific.

The Warriors most realistic goal at this point in time would be to finish third in the division and hope that it gets them a spot in the postseason as the eighth seed.

As far as the Christmas game goes, can you feel the excitement? Chris Paul will make his debut as a Clipper in Golden State; after declining to join the Warriors and sign an extension.  Blake will make his first NBA appearance this regular season against a team that could potentially play at a pace that favors fast breaks, alley-oops and posterizing opponents.

Whether the Dubs win or lose, the fans will all be winners in this one…

Jovan Buha:  The game itself is going to be exciting — expect a myriad of 3-pointers, no-look passes and an up-and-down contest. I see the two teams combining for at least 225 points.

The Clippers will try and slow down the pace (minimizing the Warriors’ offensive effectiveness), execute their half-court sets, and use the potent Paul-Griffin pick-and-roll to slice open the heart of the Dubs’ defense.

For everyone’s sake, I hope Stephen Curry will be playing, as a Curry and Ellis vs. Paul and Billups match-up would be thrilling to watch. Then, of course, there’s the Blake Griffin vs. David Lee match-up. Um, let’s just say you might see more than a few highlights from the leader of Lob City.

If Curry doesn’t play, this could get ugly. I don’t see Andris Biedrins or Kwame Brown being that effective against DeAndre Jordan. The Warriors are one of the few teams that the Clippers may actually be “bigger” than.

Expectation-wise, the Clippers will be in the hunt for home court advantage. They’re not as good as most people think (not yet, at least), but they’re clearly a playoff team and possible contender. The Warriors? I don’t see them beating out the Blazers, Nuggets or Rockets for one of the last playoff two spots. I’m sorry buddy.

J.M. Poulard: Blake Griffin should light up David Lee like a Christmas tree, which is why I believe Mark Jackson may put either Udoh or Kwame Brown on him to muscle him and frustrate him while Lee defends the less than stellar offensive repertoire of DeAndre Jordan.

The Dubs may absolutely need Curry against the Clips. Last season, well before Billups arrived in Los Angeles, Monta Ellis only averaged 18.6 points per game against the artists now known as Lob City, while shooting 37.7 percent from the field. If Monta is forced to literally carry this offense by himself, the regulars might spend the entire fourth quarter watching the bench players.

Make no mistake though, the Warriors have a secret weapon: Mark Jackson. I have yet to see him coach a regular season game, and for whatever reason I am a firm believer that he will do a better job of pressing the right buttons unlike Vinny Del Negro (or the newly acquired Reggie Evans who likes to press on well, something else as Chris Kaman can attest).

I’m already on record as picking both a Clips win and the Dubs missing the playoffs in the tough Western Conference. But they will be interesting, fun to watch and worthy of checking up on every night…

Although maybe not as much as your Clippers though.

I hate you.

Jovan Buha: It’s sorta weird being hated for covering/following/liking the Clippers. I like it.

While Mark Jackson was a good point guard and even better commentator (cringes as he writes that), I’m not sure what to make of his coaching ability. He’s probably better than VDN, you’re right, but he’s definitely not better than the Clippers’ two new on-the-floor coaches — Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups.

With those two at the helm, I have no doubts in the Clippers’ ability to run their offensive sets, play tough-nose defense and maximize their efficiency in crunch-time. You could argue that’s the smartest backcourt in the league.

The Warriors will be a great viewing experience this year — Curry and Ellis form a offensive juggernaut of a backcourt, Lee will probably have a bounce-back season, Klay Thompson is an intriguing prospect, and Kwame Brown will drop his handful of passes and blow wide-open lay-ups.

Who wouldn’t want to see that?

J.M. Poulard: The Lob City backcourt should play well on Christmas day, but if we project the rest of the season; they may indeed be the most steady/clutch pair of guards this season. The tandems of Parker-Ginobili, Rose-Hamilton, Curry-Ellis and Rondo-Allen all have the potential to be the best starting guards in the league; but ultimately the title may well in fact belong to Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups by season’s end.

Their decision-making should be second to none and they will also play big down the stretch of games. Both are good shooters and are also terrific from the free throw line, which means they should be able to ice contests late.

The Warriors on the other hand have a terrific backcourt from a statistical standpoint but it hasn’t yet reached the point where we can unequivocally trust them to carry the team to wins. Monta tends to get shot happy but that could potentially change under Jackson.

Jovan, enjoy the all the Christmas games, but especially the Warriors-Clippers match up. If I catch you gloating on twitter… I may just end up engaging you. Let’s do this again some time soon!

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at [email protected].