Inside the Scope: Los Angeles Clippers (32-9) x Golden State Warriors (24-15)
- Tip Off: 1:00 p.m. (PT)
- Television: CSN-BA
Los Angeles Clippers Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 107.4 (4th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 97.8 (3rd in NBA)
- Points: Blake Griffin, 17.8 PPG
- Rebounds: Blake Griffin, 8.4 RPG
- Assists: Chris Paul, 9.7 APG
- Steals: Chris Paul, 2.6 SPG
- Blocks: DeAndre Jordan, 1.5 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Ryan Hollins, 59.5% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Willie Green, 39.8% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: Clipperblog.
Preview: The Los Angeles Clippers will be in Oracle Arena today to play their last head-to-head game of the season against the Golden State Warriors, and try to tie up the season series. The Dubs have won two of the three matchups in the 2012-13 regular season, with one of the contests being decided by a narrow margin and the second victory coming in a blowout.
The Clippers’ lone victory against the Dubs came on January 5th at Staples Center, with Lob City routing the Warriors and also sending the fans home happy after an exhibition of high wired dunks.
Needless to say, Mark Jackson and his team surely remember that contest.
Playing against divisional opponents tends to create friction and ultimately the Warriors and Clippers have it, and it should make for great basketball.
The last time the Clips were at Oracle, they tried to make a statement by playing physical perimeter defense and coming out with multiple strategies to contain Stephen Curry off the dribble.
And yet, the Davidson product almost laughed off the added defensive attention as he found ways to not only turn the corner, but also launch 3-point attempts as if he didn’t have a care in the world on his way to 31 points and six-for-eight 3-point field goal shooting.
As luck would have it, both Chris Paul and Stephen Curry recently returned from injury, which will afford the fans of one last opportunity to see these dynamic guards square off this season, unless of course these teams meet in the playoffs.
As intriguing as the Paul-Curry matchup will be, the Jack-Bledsoe battle should be just as important. Both are the backup point guards for their respective teams and offer different but still important impacts on the game.
Jack is probably the team’s best playmaker and floor general, which is why he often closes out games playing point guard while Curry plays alongside him in the backcourt, making the Warriors a potent fourth quarter offense.
Bledsoe on the other hand is a pesky defender with amazing athleticism that allows him to make Russell Westbrook type plays, except they mostly happen on defense in the form of blocks and huge rebounds in traffic. NBA.com’s advanced stats tool tells us that Lob City holds opponents to 40.9 percent field goal shooting when Bledsoe is on the court, but when he heads to the bench that figure climbs to 44.1 percent.
Naturally, one might expect the Clips to end the game with a backcourt featuring Bledsoe and Paul to matchup with Curry and Jack late if the game is close, but in truth Vinny Del Negro has stayed away from that pairing for most of the season because the tandem is a little challenged defensively. Indeed, NBA.com’s advanced stats tool tells us that in 188 minutes played together this season, the Clips have surrendered 107.5 points per 48 minutes.
Given their respective sizes, it makes sense that Del Negro has tried to avoid playing them together, but he may very well have to go to that tandem, especially if Jamal Crawford is having a subpar performance.
With that said, expect a contest with tons of intensity and physicality today at Oracle; and ultimately that should prove to be incredibly entertaining.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.
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