63-7 (32-0 HOME)
43-26 (21-14 ROAD)
|How To Watch
|March 23, 2016|
|Oracle Arena — Oakland, CA
|7:30 p.m. PST|
|ESPN | KNBR 680 AM|
|Blog Buddy: Clips Nation|
Festus Ezeli - Out (Knee - Indefinitely)
Andrew Bogut - Doubtful (Left foot)
Andre Iguodala - Out (Ankle)
Jeff Green - Questionable (Head)
Blake Griffin - Out (Wrist)
The Warriors... limp back home after a wearing road trip that still featured some great results. They found a way to win in Minnesota after the Texas swing over the weekend. The team is battered, bruised and looking for an easy win. What do they get in return? A tough physical match up against the Clippers possibly without the anchor in the middle in Andrew Bogut to match up against DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul.
Golden State puts its home streak on the line against a Clippers team who would love to knock off the champs on the road. These teams always play tough, and the Warriors have had their number all season long. Steph Curry has been in a recent shooting slump after big games in Dallas, giving into sore legs and physical play in San Antonio. Who will step up the scoring at home?
The Clippers... find themselves in a rut of late, losing four of their last five. These losses came to good teams - the Spurs at home and the Cavs in LA - but not good for a team looking to gain momentum heading into the playoffs. LAC has all but locked up the 4th seed in the playoff race which would earn them a first round matchup against the fleeting Grizzlies (Lance Stevenson revenge series!).
Where have the losses come from? Poor defense to start: they have been allowing opponents to score over 100 points over their last five games. While they are a top 10 defensive team in the league, they have been outpaced by better teams, highlighted by getting blown out by Cleveland in Los Angeles. In their most recent loss to a short-handed Pelicans team in New Orleans, they allowed a balanced attack (six players in double figures) and struggled to shoot themselves. Much like the Warriors, they are dealing with late-season legs and fatigue while waiting for role players to return from injury. Can they hold up in the long run?
I don't predict this game to be one of beauty. Both teams seem relatively worn out and both hoping the season ends as quick as possible. I give the advantage to the home team, with the Warriors needing the home crowd to help get their mojo back. Chris Paul and Steph Curry always motivate each other, and I predict this to be the marquee matchup during primetime. I believe the first team to score 100 points wins here, with neither team showing their full hands offensively in preparation of a second round matchup in the playoffs.