Inside the Scope: Golden State Warriors (22-10) x Los Angeles Clippers (26-8)
- Tip Off: 7:30 p.m. (PT)
- Television: CSN-BA
Los Angeles Clippers Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 107.1 (6th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 98.1 (3rd in NBA)
- Points: Blake Griffin, 17.6 PPG
- Rebounds: Blake Griffin, 8.6 RPG
- Assists: Chris Paul, 9.3 APG
- Steals: Chris Paul, 2.6 SPG
- Blocks: DeAndre Jordan, 1.6 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: DeAndre Jordan, 59.9% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Caron Butler, 40.7% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: Clipperblog.
Preview: The Los Angeles Clippers are the proud owners of the second best record in the league and are coming off a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers last night, giving them their sixth divisional win in eight such contests.
Lob City currently has the best record in the Pacific division but just cannot seem to shake free from the Golden State Warriors that apparently have their number. Indeed, the Dubs have defeated the Clips in their two matchups this season, thus Vinny Del Negro and company will be trying to rebound from the previous two defeats tonight at Staples Center.
It’s worth mentioning that the first two games for the Clippers were played on the second night of a back-to-back and tonight will be no exception.
Nonetheless, do not think for a second that Los Angeles will play lackadaisical basketball when the Warriors join them on the hardwood tonight. Indeed, when these teams clashed last Wednesday, Chris Paul was in the mug of Stephen Curry to open up the game as if he were trying to send a message to the fourth year pro.
CP3 aggressively picked him up defensively and tried to contain him off the dribble, essentially to send a message that Lob City would concede nothing.
The irony of it all was that it seemed to inspire Curry’s competitive juices and he routinely attacked the Clips in the pick-ad-roll, in transition and off the dribble to create scoring opportunities for either himself or his teammates.
The Davidson product finished the night with 31 points and eight assists on 11-for-16 field goal shooting, but more importantly he rose to the occasion when the situation called for it.
With that said, Chris Paul and his teammates managed to expose a glaring flaw in the Warriors’ offense much like the Boston Celtics did last month: blitzing Stephen Curry in the pick-and-roll can fluster him and even result in turnovers.
Steph eventually figured things out and found his release valve in David Lee that often times just floated around the top of the key awaiting for a pass to score or create an opportunity for a teammate; but the strategy was still quite effective on the Warriors’ starting point guard.
Golden State will need their frontline to play big again much like in their last encounter when David Lee was just unstoppable in every facet of the game; because it stands to reason that the Clippers bigs won’t struggle again the way they did at Oracle Arena.
Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Lamar Odom and Ronny Turiaf combined to produce 21 points and 22 rebounds on 5-for-20 field goal shooting on January 2nd against Golden State.
Tonight’s contest promises to be far more competitive and thrilling than the last time these two teams met. The battle of the guards — starters and off the bench — should be entertaining and the big men should have a great clash on the interior that produces a lot of great sequences of basketball.
Enjoy the contest.
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