Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
When: 7:30 PM PT
How to Watch: TNT, AM 570
Projected Starting Lineups
Warriors: Damion Lee – Mychal Mulder – Andrew Wiggins – Juan Toscano-Anderson – Marquese Chriss
Clippers: Patrick Beverley – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Marcus Morris – Ivica Zubac
Warriors: Kevon Looney (Out: hip); Draymond Green (Out: Knee) Stephen Curry (Questionable: illness)
The Big Picture
The Clippers are now, famously, 10-1 with their full roster available. This includes six wins in their last seven games with their roster intact as of late. The Warriors, to put it lightly, are experiencing the opposite: they aren’t healthy, and aren’t playing well. They had a short-lived sense of optimism when Steph Curry came back into the lineup, but he’s sidelined again with the flu.
The Clippers, with wins against the Nuggets, Thunder, and Rockets, have shown they are capable of beating good teams. Tonight, they will need to show that they are no longer playing down to their opponents — something that good teams generally don’t do yet has haunted the Clippers thus far this season.
This game will also be an opportunity to further their lead over the Nuggets in the playoff standings. The Lakers loss on Sunday dampened the idea that the Clippers could make a play at catching the Lakers for the one-seed, but the Clippers have a real chance at putting some distance between themselves and Denver. With the Bucks, Mavericks, Lakers, our Clippers, Thunder, and Raptors on their upcoming schedule, the Clippers should try to put the two-seed away now so they can rest Kawhi and others late in the season.
This is a Trap Game: coming off the emotional rollercoaster of playing and losing to the Lakers might leave the Clippers unfocused going into this game. Moreover, the Warriors and Clippers, sneakily, have a bit of a rivalry. Last year, the Clippers embarrassed the then-defending Champs in the first round of last year’s playoffs, so we can assume the Warriors won’t roll over easily. The Chase Center will also undoubtedly be sold out for the Clippers last visit to the Bay, so the Clippers need to come out energized from the start.
- Joakim Noah: Noah is only on a 10-day contract, so the Clippers will likely want to see him in action before they’re forced to decide if they want him for the rest of the season or not. If the Clippers don’t find themselves with a big lead, I think Doc might try to fit him in for a few minutes during the middle of the third quarter with at least two starters (this is just a shot-in-the-dark guess).
- Marcus Morris, Sr.: Morris was pretty bad against the Lakers on Sunday, and spoke about his shooting struggles with Andrew Greif of the LA Times. Look for Doc to try and get him some easy looks to get his confidence back.
- The Center Position: Doc still hasn’t found the right balance between Trez and Zubac (and we haven’t even started to investigate the Noah question). As Duby Dub Dubs of Let’s Go Warriors told our Robert Flom, Marquese Chriss has been a positive for the Warriors this year. Hopefully he gives the Clippers a little bit of a challenge so Doc can practice his rotation at the Center position.