The Clippers traveled up to San Francisco to take on the Warriors on Thursday night for a prime-time TNT game. This game has huge implications for the Western Conference standings and, more generally, the fate of this Clippers team. Check out our preview below:
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
When: 7:00 PM PT
How to Watch: TNT
How to Listen: AM 570 KLAC
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Russell Westbrook – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Marcus Morris, Sr. – Ivica Zubac
Warriors: Jordon Poole – Klay Thompson – Donte DiVincenzo – Draymond Green – Kevon Looney
G-LEAGUE ASSIGNMENT: Brandon Boston, Jr.; Moussa Diabaté; Jason Preston
PROBABLE – Jordan Poole (knee)
OUT – Stephen Curry (lower leg); Andrew Wiggins (personal); Andre Iguodala (hip)
The Big Picture
The Clippers will have the better roster tonight. The Warriors will be without Curry and Wiggins, and Jordan Poole is nursing a knee bruise. Moreover, the Clippers will have matchup advantages over the Warriors’ remaining roster: The Warriors will have to rely on Draymond Green to guard Kawhi Leonard all game again, DiVincenzo or Thompson will have to chase Paul George, and the Clippers will have the superior bench.
LA also only has to look back a few weeks to find a blueprint for approaching this game: Before the All Star Break, the Clippers took care of business against the Curry-less Warriors. They won that game by keeping turnovers low (only 8), knocking down threes (47%), and getting strong scoring production from Kawhi, Norman Powell, and George.
While the above sounds logical in theory, this Clippers team has found ways to defy gravity and lose winnable games over the last week. The Clippers are 4-6 in the last 10 games, including a three game losing streak. The rotations have been confusing, turnovers have reemerged as a serious problem, and the defense is still on the All Star Break.
Paul George has put up decent numbers since the ASB, but he has not been the elite player the Clippers have needed (especially with the costly turnovers). Marcus Morris, Sr. has also been in a shoot slump for almost a month, except for a few double-digit games.
The biggest concern, however, has been the questionable rotations and in-game coaching by Ty Lue. Without getting too far into it, it seems reasonable to say that there have been too many guard-heavy lineups, Mann’s minutes are too low and poorly dispersed, and Morris’ are too high. The Clippers will need Ty to be disciplined tonight: when something is not working, do not wait too long to fix it.
Xavier Moon was signed to a two-way contract on Wednesday after Keaton Wallace was waived. Wallace’s waiver follows a similarly short stint by Nate Darling, another Ontario Clippers stand out. 213Hoops’ Lucas Hann theorized on Twitter that the Clippers always wanted Moon (who was playing with the USA team), but gave Darling and Wallace the opportunity to be on the “main” roster in the meantime as a reward.
That about does it for this preview of the Clippers’ upcoming game against the Warriors. As always, check out The Lob The Jam The Podcast and Clips ‘N Dip for analysis throughout the week, and follow us on Twitter to watch the game with us!