Tonight, February 2nd, the Warriors will play the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. With a lot of injuries and on the back end of a back-to-back, the Warriors will have to bring their A game and play with intensity for a full 48 minutes, but I am confident that they will pull out a win.
The last time these two teams faced off was recent, on January 28, when the Warriors were propelled to a 144-98 victory by Stephen Curry’s 43 points. The Warriors had 48 rebounds, 15 more than the Clippers’ 32. The Warriors also had a total of 35 assists, compared to the Clippers, who tallied 24. The Warriors also edged the Clippers in steals, as they had 9 and the Clippers had 7, and in turnovers, where the Warriors had 11 and the Clippers had a few more, who totaled at 14. The Warriors were also ahead in free throw, three point, and free throw percentage, having 62% in field goal, 50% in three point, and 81% in free throw. All of those numbers are great. The Clippers finished with 43% in field goal, 42% in three point, and 63% in free throw.
Something to keep in mind is that the Warriors had a special night. Stephen Curry was going off. He was in the zone. The Clippers, on the other hand, were without their starting point guard, Chris Paul. Curry had an amazing third quarter, outscoring the entire LA team, 25-23. Today, the tables will be somewhat flipped, as the Warriors are missing starting center Zaza Pachulia, starting power forward, Draymond Green, backup power forward David West, and backup point guard Shaun Livingston. Even though these players aren’t star scorers, their absences will cost the Warriors considerable depth and rim protection.
For total stats, the Warriors seem to have the edge. Golden State averages a league high 118.1 points per game, and the Clippers are ranked 7th, averaging 108.2 points per game. The Warriors are averaging 45.2 rebounds per game, and the Clippers average 43.6 rebounds per game. The Clippers have the slight advantage in offensive rebounds, with 9.4 a game compared to the Warriors 9.0, but the Warriors make up for it in defensive rebounds, averaging 36.2 compared to the Clippers 34.1 rebounds per game. The Warriors have the considerable edge in assists per game, averaging nearly 10 more than the Clippers, with 31.1 assists per game compared to the Clippers 22.4 assists per game. The Warriors also have the advantage in steals, averaging 9.4 per game, whereas the Clippers have only 7.7 per game. The last category where the Warriors have the upper hand is in blocks, as they currently average 6.5 blocks per game and the Clippers are currently averaging only 4.8 blocks. That said, the Clippers have the advantage in turnovers, averaging only 13.2 compared to Golden State’s 15.1.
If the Warriors keep their turnovers low and their assists high, along with staying extremely alert on defense, it will be a good game. If the Warriors, however, are careless with the ball and on defense, this game could get away from them quickly. I have faith that they will start with an intensity and a drive that will ultimately propel them to coming out of the game with a victory.