The playoffs are approaching pretty quickly, and the Warriors are holding the 6th seed tightly and not letting go. Every time it seems as if the Rockets will even things, the Warriors are able to get a timely win, or the Rockets fail to win their games. It seems as if the Warriors were destined to finish 6th place.
The main thing to worry about now, however, is who the Warriors are going to play in the first round. They may play the Thunder, the Nuggets, or unlikely the Grizzlies, but the team that comes up more often than not is the Clippers, who are holding onto the third seed.
Of course they want to get as high in the standings as possible, but playing the Warriors in the first round? That may be a tough hurtle to get over. In a B/R Article, the author wrote that each higher seeded team in the Western Conference would want to play the Warriors in the first round because their defense is on the downfall. Lately, however, they’ve held some pretty high-scoring teams to few points, like the Rockets to 78 in Houston.
Are people forgetting the magic of 2007? Of course nobody wants to play a team like the Nuggets, who have lost just 3 games at home, but the Golden State Warriors‘ home crowd is alive in the playoffs. Everyone really gets into it, and it’s the reason why the Warriors didn’t lose a single game to the Mavericks in the first round.
It’s looking like the Clippers are going to be in the Mavericks spot. The Warriors have beaten the Clippers 3/4 times this season, one blowout game, one fairly close game, and another fairly close game in LA. The other game was the Warriors’ worst of the season, being blown out in LA. Since the lower seeded team gets 3 home games, the Warriors would need to win just 1 road game to take the series.
Against the Warriors, Blake Griffin does not play well. He and David Lee go at it in the matchup, and Lee isn’t afraid to get dunked on. Being the kind of flashy player that Griffin is, I don’t think the would want to be in a poster, where he is getting blocked. This is where Andrew Bogut comes in. He almost completely takes away Griffin’s thunder, being the amazing shot-blocker that he is. He is averaging 18.7 PPG against the Warriors, but it doesn’t seem like enough when he plays them.
As for Chris Paul, he is almost unstoppable because he is arguably the best point guard today. With Stephen Curry reaching the top 5 in the NBA, however, he is able to match some of what CP3 does. He has Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut to toss lobs to, and he’s an incredible shooter. Chris Paul, however, is much better in terms of court vision and basketball IQ. Paul realizes that there are other scorers on the team.
With Curry, I would say he shoots too much, but when he’s making almost every three pointer, what does it matter. Sometimes, he needs to pass the ball to get his teammates going as well.
If Klay Thompson was assigned the task of Chris Paul, he could make it very difficult for him to make good passes, or drive to the basket. Thompson is one of the best perimeter defenders in the game, and has been defending guards the size of Paul. He can really make things difficult, and this will gum up the Clippers’ whole offensive strategy.
Odds have it that the Clippers will take the series against the Warriors, but hey, anything can happen in the playoffs. If the Warriors really focused on their strengths and capitalized, they could take the series in 6 games.