After being unanimously picked to lose this series, the Warriors went to Los Angeles and stole home court advantage by winning Game 1 of the series. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 36 points, but David Lee was most impressive with his 20 points and 13 rebounds. Foul trouble plagued Blake Griffin and the Warriors were able to hold him to 16 points and three boards. Can the Warriors grab a commanding two series lead tonight?
It’s time for Game 2 and the Warriors might have to play better than they did in the first game if they want a chance at winning tonight. After all the hype, Chris Paul and company will surely come out with a vengeance. Hopefully the Warriors are able to adapt on the road.
Key Players To Watch Out For:
Griffin and DeAndre Jordan combined for 17 rebounds in Game 1, which could surely be attributed to Griffin’s foul trouble. Expect a more ferocious Griffin in Game 2, he will surely try and make more of an impact tonight. The Warriors are aware of Griffin’s capabilities, which could open the paint for Jordan and allow him to get more open looks. Without Andrew Bogut the Warriors have a hole in the middle, but they did a tremendous of controlling the paint, outscoring the Clippers 25-16. In Griffin’s absence Jordan grabbed 14 rebounds, so expect him to continue to be a force in the middle.
Chris Paul scored 28 points in Game 1, but it took him 23 shots and he wasn’t able to execute down the stretch. Paul is due for a big game tonight, especially after some of the criticism he received after the Game 1 loss. He will be looking to get his teammates involved early and often, but the All-Star can score and will surely do so throughout the game. Whoever ends up guarding Paul will have a tough task tonight, but if you are able to contain him just a bit, it would give the Warriors a realistic opportunity to grab a two game lead.
Lastly, Jamal Crawford comes off the bench, but he puts up a lot of shots and could get hot quickly. Crawford is capable of scoring in bunches and he is able to score 30 or more on any given night. He only had nine points, but he did take 11 shots and only Paul and Griffin took more. Crawford is sneaky good and he is definitely somebody you want to watch out for.
Keys To A Warrior’s Win
Fight In The Paint: With all the injuries to the Warriors’ front line, the Clippers front court was expected to dominate this series. However, they didn’t expect Lee to play so well and underestimated Draymond Green. The Warriors need to control the paint on both sides of the floor and limit the second chance opportunities. Both teams are high scoring machines, so the key will be to limit their shot attempts and give the Warriors shooters as many attempts as possible, but that can only happen if our front court is actively fighting in the paint.
Get Harrison Barnes Going Early: Barnes had somewhat of a disappointing regular season campaign, but it didn’t carry over to Game 1 of the series. Barnes posted an impressive 14 points and eight rebounds, but the stat sheet does not do him justice. Barnes made some key plays throughout the game and he plays much better with confidence. By getting him going early, it will set him up for the rest of the game.
Stellar Performance From Curry: The Warriors were able to get the Game 1 victory without a great performance from Curry and that is something to be encouraged about. The Clippers are expected to come back in this game and get retaliation, but if Curry is able to deliver a historic performance, it might be enough to win Game 2. If the Warriors want to win this series, they need to take advantage of having the Clippers on the ropes and Curry is more than capable of doing it .
Golden State Warriors (6) at L.A. Clippers (3)
7:30 p.m. PST, April 21, 2014
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Series: Warriors Lead 1-0