When: Thursday, October 21st, 2021 @ 7PM PT
How to Watch: TNT
How to Listen: 95.7 The Game
Warriors: Klay Thompson (out, Achilles), James Wiseman (out, knee) Jonathan Kuminga (out, knee)
Clippers: Kawhi Leonard (out, knee), Keon Johnson (out, illness) Serge Ibaka (out, back)
I was at the first ever Chase Center home opener back in 2019, when the hometown Warriors got their spines ripped out through their chests by a physical and skilled Clippers squad, led by the silent force of Kawhi Leonard and the brash provocation of Patrick Beverly.
The Dubs didn’t have Klay Thompson that night, waylaid by a knee injury in the postseason, and the message the Clippers sent to Dub Nation was loud and clear: the Golden Empire was dead. GSW’s five Finals trips in a row, three titles, and the most lit parades in NBA history were about to vanish in a puff of red and blue Clipper smoke.
Or so they thought. It’s 2021 now, Thompson still hasn’t returned, and yet the Clippers haven’t won a damn thing. And neither Leonard or Beverly will be suiting up Thursday night in Chase Center as Leonard is rehabbing from a devastating playoff knee injury of his own, and Beverly was traded.
LIFE COMES AT YA FAST.
Meanwhile the Warriors are looking to keep their positive momentum rolling after besting the star studded Los Angeles Lakers in L.A. Tuesday night. Neither Stephen Curry or Jordan Poole shot the ball particularly well in that contest, but the pressure they put on the Lakers defense helped set the tone for an opportunistic Golden State offense.
Even without Leonard’s presence, the Clippers boast rangy athletes who will test the Warriors with physicality. Paul George is an All-Star who can put up numbers with the best of them; there’s some nights when PG13 looks like he’s in a trance where the only thing he knows is cooking defenders. Terrance Mann and Reggie Jackson were driving forces in the Clippers’ entertaining playoff run last season, and they are not afraid of pressure.