It’s official - the Lob City Clipper rivalry is dead, before it even really had a chance to become fully realized. They’ve got a new look now down there in Los Angeles. Their vaunted Big Three are all gone, leaving... a pretty nice bundle of assets actually. It’s going to make for a fun game, even though both teams are a little banged up.
Stephen Curry is OUT for Monday’s game against the Clippers. Draymond Green (right toe sprain) & Shaun Livingston (foot soreness) are questionable.— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) November 12, 2018
WHEN: Monday, November 12; 7:30 p.m. Pacific time.
WHERE: Staples Center — Los Angeles, CA
WATCH: NBCSBA, NBA TV
RADIO: 95.7 The Game
Ready for a new-look Clippers?
After dragging along for a bit without Chris Paul, the Clippers finally said goodbye to both Blake Griffin (off to the Pistons for Tobias Harris) and Deandre Jordan (to the Mavericks, for reals this time). In the ashes of their fallen quasi-dynasty? A pretty nice team.
It all starts at the guard position, where the Clippers are both deep and good. They’ve got the grabbiest pairing possible in Avery Bradley and Patrick Beverley, as well as human heat lamp Lou Williams.
From there, the wings are just as interesting. Tobias Harris was one of the key pieces in the Blake Griffin Trade, and he’s playing (by far) the best basketball of his career: 20 points and 9 rebounds per game while shooting a career best .610 TS%.
And then they’ve also got a selection of decent options for their bigs too. From large bruisers like Marcin Gortat and Boban Marjanovich, to undersized springy players like Montrezl Harrell, the Clippers can generate a lot of really flexible five-man units with their new roster. Oh, and Danillo Gallinardi is healthy and he’s arguably right up there with Jrue Holiday and Mike Conley for “player hurt so much they’re underestimated” MVP.
Uncertain injury statuses, but the Warriors are ready to go with whoever is available
Though the Warriors are relatively tight-lipped, or at least unwilling to venture guesses, regarding injuries, it seems likely that both Draymond Green (toe) and Stephen Curry (groin) will miss this game. Shaun Livingston has been slowly ramping up practices so it’s possible he makes a return to the court, though as of Sunday afternoon there were no formal updates.
In their stead, coach Steve Kerr will likely stick with Jonas Jerebko and Quinn Cook in the starting lineup. Cook played extremely well in the previous game filling a similar role, so it will be interesting to see whether his performance is repeatable. The Clippers have assembled one of the peskiest defensive backcourts in the league — Cook played 30 good minutes on Saturday but will certainly be tested with what could be a more prominent part of the game.
Playing without Curry and Green
One mark of a truly elite team is flexibility to play in a number of different configurations. While it may have taken a while to develop, if the rest of the Warriors are really learning to play as well as they did on Saturday without Curry and Green, it bodes very well for the remainder of the season.
When Curry went down at the end of last season, the Warriors got real ugly. Golden State lost 10 of its last 17 games, capped off with a 119-79 thrashing at the hands of the Utah Jazz. It wasn’t a great vibe going into the playoffs. And while the end result was another championship, there were visible hitches in our stride early in the playoffs. With Durant vacillating between taking over games with scoring and stepping back into the background, it felt like the Warriors never really found their stride (until Curry returned, of course).
Against the Brooklyn Nets though, Durant, Klay Thompson and (yes) Quinn Cook weren’t just dominant — they were smooth. All three players scored over 20 points, all with excellent efficiency, and the Warriors rolled to an easy win. The Warriors talked a lot about reinventing themselves by intentionally tweaking the bench, and the early returns are promising.