The Los Angeles Clippers are in the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors in the second game of a best of 7 series in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The Warriors ran away with game one with a score of 121-104. The spread on this game is -13.5 in favor of the Warriors and that line is basically a bet on will this game be a blowout.
Clippers Seeking to Steal Road Win
The Clippers starting unit needs to really step up in this game to have much of a chance to cover this spread, let alone win the game outright. That has been the glaring issue with the Clippers all year, especially after trading Tobias Harris to the Sixers near the deadline. Obviously the biggest issue is that I don’t think that they can really fix this major issue that is scoring the basketball until Lou Williams gets into the game. Obviously, they could attempt to put William’s into the starting lineup, but then their bench production would plummet.
The most reasonable idea would be to get either Harrell or Williams into the game at all times. This solution is hindered by the fact that Harrell gets a lot of his points as a result of Lou Williams’ pick and roll work. If Harrell is taken away from Williams, it will just hurt the productivity of one of your best scorers. I want to see 2 of Williams, Gallinari, and Harrell on the court together away virtually all times, but none of those 3 played more than 32 minutes in that first game. To be fair, this game was a blowout and both Gallinari and Williams lost about 3 minutes to the blowout, but I am still worried that they aren’t on the court enough to keep pace with Golden State.
Warriors Looking to Keep Rolling
Golden State relied on the Steph Curry show to guide them to their game 1 blowout victory. Steph scored 38 points on 11-16 shooting and 8-12 from beyond the arc. Curry also corralled a career playoff high 15 boards, which is really impressive given the additions of KD and Cousins over the years that should hinder his opportunity to grab so many rebounds as a pretty small NBA player. What really impressed me about the rebounds was how active he was in the paint to get them. Curry was often surrounded by Clippers down low while other Warriors took shots and Curry still came down with the board. I’m not suggesting that this is the norm, but this wasn’t strictly a point guard getting 15 long rebounds. Steph was really attacking the boards and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more double digit rebound performances from Steph moving forward.
The rest of the Warriors were relatively disappointing besides Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Green’s 17 points were not something that the Warriors should get used to. Both Green and Iggy showed their ability to excel in all facets of the game and I think this is likely to continue. Iguodala likely saw additional run with the Cousins foul trouble that caused him to play only 21 minutes. Cousins struggled in all facets of his game and should be looking to make a bigger impact in game two. Klay has a rough night, but I don’t think the struggles should be classified as anything more than just an off night. The Clippers used Patrick Beverley on Durant a lot of the game, but Durant was still able to score efficiently.
Golden State Rolls Again
I think this game just has too many matchup concerns for the Clippers, even given the +13.5 spread. Steph Curry looked as motivated as ever and I think it will be really hard fir the Clips to contain both Klay and KD, as well as they, did in game 1. I like the Warriors -13.5 here.