The LA Clippers will head to San Francisco for a Pacific Division date with Stephen Curry and the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Continue reading for our Clippers-Warriors preview.
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
When: 7:00 p.m. PT
How to Tune in: ESPN, AM 570
Projected Starting Lineups
LA Clippers: Reggie Jackson – Terance Mann – Amir Coffey – Marcus Morris – Ivica Zubac
Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
Clippers: Paul George (Hamstring), Luke Kennard (Calf),
Warriors: Andre Iguodala (Hip)
The Big Picture
The Clippers have been an incredibly streaky team thus far in the 2022-23 NBA season. After already achieving a prior winning streak of three games, which followed a string of four-straight losses towards the end of October, LA has a chance to earn its fourth consecutive victory on Wednesday when it faces the Warriors.
Kawhi Leonard’s return to the (starting) lineup has given the team a much-needed boost, especially on the offensive end. Although he hasn’t contributed all that much to the stat sheet as he knocks off some rust, his presence alone has moved LA’s offense from dead last in offensive rating to 28th in less than a week — the 115.5 rating in Leonard’s three-game return is up from its previous 105.9 mark. His ability to attract attention from opposing teams’ defenses has allowed for easier opportunities for the Clippers’ supporting cast and given the offense a less turnover-prone and more structured feel.
However, without both Leonard and Paul George on Wednesday, the Clippers will need to get creative with their offensive approach. They’ll lean on a bevy of guys to fill the void and it’ll be worth monitoring what the offensive approach is.
Eighteen games into the season, the defending champions are below .500 (8-10), which is hard to believe considering mostly all of last season’s championship-winning team is still intact. But the Warriors have been a bit better as of late — if you toss to the side their latest blowout defeat that came with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, they’d won three of their previous four games. Assuming they are all healthy and available to play today after receiving some additional rest, the Clippers will have to deal with an explosive Golden State offense that always seems to have it going when the Clips come to town.
Clippers vs. Warriors Game Notes
Depth: Both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will miss Wednesday’s game, but fortunately for the Clippers, they’ve gotten in plenty of reps without their two superstars over the years. Last game against the Jazz, I made the case for LA’s bench being the difference, which included Norman Powell’s 30 points, John Wall’s first-half contributions and both Nicolas Batum’s and Amir Coffey’s stellar play down the stretch. Each one of those guys will likely have an opportunity to make substantial impacts again as they move up in the rotation, but now, LA might need to dig deeper into its bench to find additional production.
Surprising to many, Golden State’s depth has been less than spectacular to begin the season. The young players have yet to take the leap that many presumed would, and the veteran bench players haven’t had close to the same success as last season’s vets. Stephen Curry and the mainstays are going to sit at some point, and the reserve Warriors are going to get a crack at against what should be close to the end of the Clippers rotation. How they perform in those minutes could determine what kind of game unfolds on Wednesday night.