Five Thoughts: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers
The Golden State Warriors are currently 2-1 through three games against the Los Angeles Clippers and there’s been much to discuss about this series. Here are five thoughts on this series thus far.
1. Turnovers and fouls are hurting the Warriors
Everyone knows that the Warriors are the favorites to return to the NBA Finals. Everyone also knows that the Los Angeles Clippers aren’t much of a threat to them. However, the Warriors are going to have to get rid of their old habits if they hope to make it back to the Finals and win. Especially this year, as the competition is much stronger. Turnovers and foul trouble have plagued the Warriors in their first three playoff games.
In Games 1 and 2, the Warriors had 21 and 22 turnovers, respectively, with Kevin Durant getting 12 of those combined. When the Warriors are locked in, they’re dangerous, but they tend to lose focus and get reckless with the basketball. The same goes with fouling.
Steph Curry has had at least four fouls in each game so far, and Kevin Durant fouled out of Game 2. Warriors are not going to win if their star players are not on the court. They need to control themselves better and stay out of foul trouble or they will regret it in their next series.
2. The Clippers are marketing themselves well
The Clippers aren’t a serious threat to knock out the Warriors, but they have made themselves look like a viable free agent destination. In this series, the Clippers have shown heart and toughness and have shown that they are only a couple players away from championship contention.
Clippers put a lot of free agents on notice when they came back from 31 to beat the Warriors. They have a great coach and great role players. All they need is a star. Watch out for the Los Angeles Clippers in the future.
3. Steph Curry is having a great start
Aside from the fouling, Curry is having a terrific and under appreciated start to these playoffs. He is averaging 29.3 points and seven rebounds on 57.8 percent from the field and an unbelievable 58.6 percent from three. If Steph keeps that up, you may as well just hand the trophy over to Golden State.
4. Kevin Durant vs. Patrick Beverley
This matchup has taken center stage in this series and rightfully so. In Game 2, Beverley assisted in limiting Durant to eight shot attempts and nine turnovers. It appeared that Beverley was in Durant’s head. In Game 3, Durant pushed that notion to the side as he erupted for an efficient 38 points. So what’s to come in Game 4?
Pretty much more of Game 3. As well as Beverley has played Kevin Durant, he’s Kevin Durant (to borrow his own line). Durant can score over any defender and can score at will. As much as people think Beverley is shutting Durant down, he is still shooting 57 percent from the field. It’s safe to say Durant will be just fine moving forward.
5. Draymond Green is in great shape
An incredible story came out recently about Draymond Green and how he lost 23 pounds in 6 weeks.
As amazing as that transformation is, what’s even more impressive is his play at that the start of these playoffs. He’s faster, more energetic, and his numbers have improved. His scoring went up and his assists numbers went up, but more importantly his field goals percentage is up.
Towards the end of the season, Green was looking like an offensive liability. And he was aware of it, as stated in the article. Well so far this postseason, Green has looked like a much offensive player and if he continues to knock down shots, the Warriors will be a handful.
The Warriors are looking great to start the playoffs and the Clippers look like a formidable foe, but this series will end quicker rather than later. It’s been enjoyable nonetheless.
Game 4 is on Sunday.
Stats via Basketball Reference