Tip-off: 7:30 pm PDT
Where: Staples Center
TV: NBA TV/CSN Bay Area Radio: KNBR 680
Blog Buddy: Clips Nation
After the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Memphis Grizzlies to open the season on Wednesday night, I asked both Tom Lorenzo of SB Nation's Straight Outta Vancouver and Steve Perrin of Clips Nation which team they each believed was the more favorable matchup for the Warriors. The consensus between those two and me was that the Grizzlies were the more favorable matchup, especially considering that the Warriors would be facing the Clippers in the back end of a back-to-back in L.A.
Not only was last night's 104-94 loss a sort of sobering outcome for our first GSoM Night of the season, but the team also lost Brandon Rush to injury. Not only will the Warriors be playing without Rush tonight as he awaits a diagnosis on how badly he's injured, but the team will also be without center Andrew Bogut who was scheduled to sit this game as he gets his game legs back.
The Clippers, meanwhile, are off to an impressive start to their 2012-13 season. After beating the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, they took down the wayward Los Angeles Lakers last night with Chris Paul doing Chris Paul things and former Warriors player Jamal Crawford continuing to lead a potent bench with a team-high 21 points. And that was without star point guard Steve Nash in the lineup in a game that Perrin wrote that the Clippers had from the opening tip.
In other words, it's probably safe to say that we should be expecting a loss tonight - a lot would have to go right for the Warriors to return to Northern California above .500. But does that mean, as Ray Ratto of CSN Bay Area suggests, that we should be forecasting doom for the Warriors this season? I'd say hardly - we still don't really know what this team is capable of. Bogut has yet to play regular minutes and this team is better by leaps and bounds defensively when he's in the game. Rookies Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli have been solid for rookies, but still have some adjustments to make. And with all these moving parts - including Rush's injury - it would be hard on any coach to get comfortable with his rotation, much less one who still has under 82 games of regular season NBA experience.
This is not a game that I'd write off to the point of not watching at all though - I do want to see the progress of the rookies and I've actually really enjoyed watching what Stephen Curry can do alongside Jarrett Jack coming off screens as a shooter. Carl Landry's grit in the paint is something that we haven't seen from a post player off the bench since 19??. But given the circumstances, it's way too early to come to any conclusions about this team until we actually see the full rotation playing regular minutes.
Let's all hope that we'll see Rush back in it at some point.