According to L.A. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, there isn’t a gap in talent between his team and the 73-win team that added Kevin Durant.
That’s an audacious claim for a team that has yet to make it out of the second round of the playoffs. Nonetheless, it is almost the start of a new season, and the Clippers will get a chance to prove that they are equipped with perhaps the greatest team ever assembled for the first time since River’s comments. To add insult to injury, Clippers small forward Paul Pierce recently said that JJ Redick is the best shooter in the NBA. There’s essentially no chance Redick lives up to that title when compared to the flamethrower shooters known as the Splash Brothers.
However, the Clippers have an opportunity to pounce on the Golden State Warriors if the starters play like they did on Saturday against the Raptors. Golden State played stilted basketball and appeared afraid of stepping on anyone’s toes in their first preseason game. That is, other than Klay Thompson, who hoisted 13 shots in 18 minutes.
Something to keep an eye on during the Warriors-Clippers game tonight will be the performances of JaVale McGee and Kevon Looney. The preseason opener did nothing to allay the concerns about the Warriors’ lack of traditional centers, and those two players possess the necessary bounce to block shots and rebound. Should he continue to hone his otherworldly athleticism and make the team, McGee could be a DeAndre Jorden-esque player for the Warriors off the bench.
Another player who can secure a rotation spot depending on his preseason performance is the young, promising rookie Patrick McCaw. McCaw has drawn a ton of praise from his veteran teammates, particularly for his “feel” for the game. If the rookie out of UNLV continues to impress against the Clippers, Ian Clark will be at risk of losing his backup shooting guard role.
The Warriors only started practicing less than a week ago, and it’s only a matter of time before the team starts to gel. The Clippers had better hope that their Pacific Division rival don’t start to click when they take the floor against the Warriors.
Don’t forget, Tuesday’s Warriors-Clippers game is Step Curry MVP bobblehead night, in case you needed extra motivation to head over to the game.
- When: Tuesday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time
- Where: Oracle Arena — Oakland, CA
- Coverage: ESPN