The Warriors will kick off their preseason versus the Clippers in the arena that ended their 2013-14 NBA season. This will be the first of eight preseason games with the final game on Friday, October 24, 2014. As it is common for most pre-season games to play regulars and starters somewhere between 20 to 24 minutes, don’t be shocked to see the “Splash Brothers” with ice on their knees during the fourth quarter.
This is the first game for both teams, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Although it’s a preseason game, the rivalry itself will be enough encouragement for both teams to try and win the ball game. Both team are entering the season with high expectations, which is exciting for both franchises and the Pacific Davision. Both organizations have struggled to stay relevant in the past, but now they are competing to represent the Western Conference in June.
Players To Watch
Blake Griffin: Supposedly, Blake Griffin now posses the ability to consistently knock down 20-22 foot step-back jumpers. What this means to the Warriors: If the shot clock is winding down and Griffin can get these shots to go, this can be huge for the Clippers and spell trouble for the Warriors in the regular season. Griffin’s athletic ability near the rim is already tough enough to defend.
Spencer Hawes: This solid big man left the Cleveland Cavaliers early in free agency. He probably regrets doing so as LeBron James went back home to Ohio. He signed a four-year $23M contract and now serves as DeAndre Jordan’s back up. Hawes is a good passing big man who has range that extends to the three point line much like Kevin Love. What this means to the Warriors: The Clippers should be able to consistently keep a high-quality big man on the floor.
C.J. Wilcox: Wilcox is the Clippers’ late first round draft pick. He was taken 28th overall in the 2014 draft. Like our own Justin Holiday, Wilcox is also an alumni of the Washington Huskies. He entered the NBA Draft as one of the best shooters and knocked down 301 three-pointers in his college days. We’ll see how much playing time he will see since he will be competing against Jordan Farmar, JJ Redick, and Jamal Crawford. What this means to the Warriors: If Chris Paul and Wilcox share the floor, Paul’s play making ability can lead to many open jumpers for the rookie.
Keys To Victory:
Playing Well in Kerr’s Offense: Coach Kerr’s offense is supposed to consist of quick ball movement and pick and rolls in the half court. In transition, Kerr has put an emphasis on pushing the ball forward for easy buckets. We’ll see how the team adapts to the new offensive sets. Kerr built a career on making the right and easy play, don’t be surprised to see role players making a larger impact that usual.
Limiting turnovers: Preseason games have the tendency to become sloppy, but the Warriors need to try and limit turning the ball over. The Clippers and their self-proclaimed nickname of “Lob City” do a good job of getting out in transition and scoring quickly. Last season, the Warriors averaged 17.3 turnovers in the playoffs against the Clippers which rose from their season average of 15.2. The turnovers will be crucial to an offense that is dependent on ball movement.
Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers
7:30 p.m. PST, October 7, 2014
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: NBA TV