Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers
7:30 p.m. PST
Where: Staples Center -Los Angeles, CA
TV: NBA TV
Blog buddy: Clips Nation
Less than a year ago, we were busy discussing the worth of the Golden State Warriors' offer to restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan.
Of course, the Los Angeles Clippers matched the offer for Jordan and the Warriors ended up trading for stud center Andrew Bogut, a tradeoff that I think most of us are pleased with even if the Australian big man has yet to play a game in a Warriors uniform as he continues to rehab his ankle.
Yet something to watch for in tonight's game with rookie center Festus Ezeli starting is the development of Jordan's post game, as described by Steve Perrin of SB Nation's Clips Nation in a recent preview for Sheridan Hoops.
Through four preseason games, however, the hype about Jordan’s offseason improvement actually appears to be true this time. In Shanghai against Miami, the Heat, he was 8-of-8 and did whatever he wanted against the smaller Chris Bosh. He made spin moves, lefthanded jump hooks, righthanded jump hooks – myriad shots never before seen from Jordan.
Unfortunately, Jordan’s free throw shooting, which has been abysmal throughout his career, has gotten even worse.
I wouldn't expect hack-a-Jordan in a preseason game, but if indeed he's developed his game a bit it will be another test at center in the course of Ezeli's development after drawing five fouls in 10 minutes against DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings.
Three things to watch
- Ezeli vs. Jordan: Ezeli is already set as the Warriors' starting center, but it will still be interesting to watch how he handles the athleticism of a Jordan-with-post-moves.
- Jarrett Jack vs. Chris Paul: With Curry out, Jarrett Jack is going to get some extended time against longtime friend and former New Orleans Hornets teammate Chris Paul, who has said he's still using preseason games to find his rhythm. In other news, Jack was vocal about not liking Blake Griffin's flopping so I'm sure he welcomes the league's anti-flopping rule.
- Bench vs. bench: We've already had discussions about the Warriors' bench depth, but tonight's game will be a major test of what our team looks like against one of the deeper benches in the league, as described by Perrin: "The additions of Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and Matt Barnes, along with the development of Bledsoe, gives the Clippers one of the deepest benches in the league. In ESPN’s preseason ranking of players, #NBARank, the Clippers had nine players in the top 130 in the league. No other team had more than seven."
As usual, feel free to offer your insights on what you're looking for in the remaining preseason games or in tonight's matchups in the comments below.