The Warriors officially kick-off their title defense on Saturday, April 13th when they host the Clippers at Oracle Arena. Tip off time for Game 1 of this best-of-seven Western Conference series is 8:00 p.m. EST.
Clippers a Surprising Playoff Opponent
Nearly everyone expected the Warriors to be back in the playoffs after winning two straight championships, but the same can’t be said for the Clippers, who appeared to throw in the towel on February 6th when they traded leading scorer Tobias Harris to the 76ers. The move was viewed as little more than a salary dump at the time, but it breathed new life into LA’s roster and spurred the team to a stellar 18-9 record for the remainder of the season.
Danilo Gallinari: “We know the quality that we’ve had since the beginning. We had no doubt we could make the playoffs. I guess the basketball people are not very smart, saying that we couldn’t make it to the playoffs. We’re just a little smarter than them.” #Clippers
— Farbod Esnaashari ✪ (@Farbod_E) April 12, 2019
Clippers and Warriors Should Fill Up the Score Sheets
Scoring shouldn’t be an issue in this series for the Clippers and Warriors, both of whom torched opponents during the regular season.
Golden State generated 117.7 points on 46.0 shooting from the field and 38.0% from deep. They ranked 11th in rebounds and first in assists. The Warriors were paced this season by Stephen Curry, who averaged 27.3 points per game on 46.0% shooting. It was another outstanding season for the two-time MVP, who finished fifth in the league in scoring.
The Clippers filled up the score sheet as well. LA generated 115.1 points on 47.1% shooting from the floor and 38.8% from beyond the arc. They ranked 13th in rebounds and 18th in dimes.
The Clippers owe much of their success this season to Sixth Man of the Year candidate Lou Williams, who averaged 20 points and a career-high 5.4 assists per game. Sweet-Lou is part of a formidable bench mob that posted a league-best 52.3 points per contest in 2018-19.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Golden State Warriors Statistical Comparison
|111.3 (9th)||Offensive Rating||114.9 (1st)|
|115.1 (5th)||Points||117.7 (2nd)|
|24.0 (18th)||Assists||29.4 (1st)|
|47.1 (7th)||Field-Goal Percentage||49.1 (1st)|
|38.8 (2nd)||Three-Point Percentage||38.5 (3rd)|
|+0.9 (13th)||Plus/Minus||+6.5 (2nd)|
|110.3 (19th)||Defensive Rating||108.5 (11th)|
|114.3 (25th)||Points||111.2 (16th)|
|45.7 (14th)||Field-Goal Percentage||44.4 (3rd)|
|34.3 (5th)||Three-Point Percentage||34.7 (11th)|
|51.1 (23rd)||Points In The Paint||47.1 (7th)|
Golden State Owned LA During the Regular Season
LA and Golden State tangled four times this season, with the Warriors winning on three occasions. The last time they played on April 7th, Golden State won 131-104. Curry led the way with 27 points in just 30 minutes.
Prepare for a Blowout
Oddsmakers are clearly expecting a lot of points, as they’ve set the game total at a robust 232, with the Warriors opening as 13.0-point favorites. LA was 45-36-1 against the spread this year and 46-36-0 over/under, compared to 35-46-1 ATS and 38-44-0 over/under for Golden State.