The Clippers run it back with the Golden State Warriors, this time with a full day’s rest. Read on for a full Clippers vs Warriors game preview.
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
When: 7:00 PM PT
How to Watch: ESPN, AM 570 LA Sports
Projected Starting Lineups
Warriors: Stephen Curry — Kelly Oubre Jr. — Andrew Wiggins — Draymond Green — James Wiseman
Clippers: Patrick Beverley — Paul George — Kawhi Leonard — Nicolas Batum — Serge Ibaka
Warriors: OUT — Klay Thompson (achilles); OUT — Marquese Chriss (leg); OUT — Alen Smailagic (knee); PROBABLE — Stephen Curry (ankle); PROBABLE — Draymond Green (foot); PROBABLE – Kelly Oubre Jr. (unknown); PROBABLE — Andrew Wiggins (unknown)
The Big Picture and the Antagonist
The big picture doesn’t really include basketball, but since this is a basketball site, that’s what we’ll discuss. And since these two teams played one another just two nights ago, let’s take them together.
Wednesday’s game was a disjointed one, and one can understand why neither team may not have been entirely focused. The Clippers had a mediocre shooting night and turned it over like the Capitol Police, but won with their superior talent and some timely shotmaking. Good teams win ugly sometimes, and any road win on the second night of a back-to-back is a welcome one.
More welcome though was the injury news, or rather, the lack of it. Marcus Morris returned and accepted a bench role. Kawhi Leonard played on consecutive nights for the first time since 2017. As of this writing, the Clippers had a clean injury report. With all the pieces in place, this team can accelerate their coagulation.
The Warriors are walking the same path, if a few steps behind. Draymond Green’s return has improved both their process and results. Klay Thompson isn’t suiting up this season, so this is as complete as they’ll get, but they’re not as bad as their early losses teased. When Steph Curry is on, good luck. Wiggins and Oubre won’t be All-Stars, but they’ll eventually shoot better than I do. Wiseman looks like a player.
This will be the Clippers’ first baseball-style series of the year. The Warriors just split one with the Blazers last weekend. Travel won’t be an issue, and neither will a crowd. It’s possible each team will make some tactical adjustments, something more similar to the kind usually seen in the playoffs than the regular season, but the most impactful change either tam can make is simply to play better.
As with so many nights in this strange early season, the advantage has gone to the team with the hot shooting touch. The Clippers have the guys to do it, and the Warriors have a guy who’s pretty good too. Look to see if either team can make a couple early threes and grab control.
No Closing Kick: I was all prepared to highlight the Clippers’ continuing struggle to close quarters, then Cole went and did it (and did it better). Read his insights on early trends here.
Missed Connections: Beyond Steph’s career-high 62-point scoring binge on Sunday, the Warriors’ most viral early-season moment has been Draymond’s wild gesticulation to his young wing, Wiggins. Funny as it is, it signifies a significant issue, namely that Wiggins still struggles to play effective team basketball. (Oubre too, to a lesser extent.) Given their monetary investment in him and lack of alternatives to him, the Warriors need Wiggins to get with the program and fast. It makes you appreciate how savvy the title-winning Warriors really were.
That’s about it for this preview of the Clippers Friday night game against the Warriors. Check out our friends over at Let’s Go Warriors, and comment on the game and other happenings around the NBA in the comments below!