The Golden State Warriors dismantled the Dallas Mavericks with relative ease, but on the second night of a back-to-back one of the hottest teams in the league will be hosting the Dubs. The Warriors will put their five-game winning streak on the line against the Los Angeles Clippers, who are riding a league-leading eight-game winning streak.
Frontcourt: Despite the lack of spacing, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin have both been terrific this year. Jordan is leading the league in rebounds per game, while Griffin is putting up a career-high 24.4 points per game and has expanded his offensive game far beyond the highlight reel dunks he was limited to earlier in his career. The small forward position has been a weak spot for the Clippers, but Matt Barnes is a decent fit in a team that certainly doesn’t lack offensive weapons. The likes of Hedo Turkoglu, Danny Granger and Jared Dudley are also options the team has on the bench, so it’s not like they lack depth on the wing.
Backcourt: With JJ Redick out the Clippers have player surprisingly well, considering how perfect Redick is next to Chris Paul. In his absence, Darren Collison has moved up from the backup point guard position and is now starting next to the “Point God”.
Keys to Warriors Victory:
The Warriors have already played the Clipers three times this season, and rebounding has been crucial. In their only loss to L.A. Golden State lost the rebounding battle by double-digits but dominated the boards in both their wins. The Andrew Bogut and David Lee frontcourt matches up well rebounding-wise against Jordan and Griffin and Mark Jackson doesn’t have to adjust his lineups and play small as much against the Clippers as he does against other opponents.
Embrace the moment
This game is important for numerous reasons. First of all, when these two teams meet we pretty much always witness a highy intense game with a lot of physical play. The rivalry between the Clippers and the Warriors always offers an extra incentive to come out and win, but this game also has playoff seeding implications, with the Warriors actually not too far off securing homecourt advantage if they can keep their recent form going.
Los Angeles Clippers (45-20) vs. Golden State Warriors (41-24)
7:30 PM PST, March 12, 2014
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: CSN Bay Area
Radio: KNBR 680 AM
Clippers Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Darren Collison
SF: Matt Barnes
PF: Blake Griffin
C: DeAndre Jordan
Key Reserves: F Danny Granger G Jamal Crawford