The NBA Playoffs continue at 10:30 p.m. on TNT as the Warriors host the Clippers hoping to avoid elimination in the Western Conference first round. Before each game, we will have a quick preview of the upcoming game with a matchup to watch and a stat to chew on as you watch the game.
Previously on Lost:
There was really no chance the Warriors were going to win that game in Los Angeles after everything the Clippers had been through and the events of that day Tuesday. There was a different energy in that building and from the Clippers. An immense weight was lifted off their shoulders and they played free.
The key to this series has undoubtedly been Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan on the inside. The Clippers have gone how those two players go. Sometimes the Warriors have been able to get one or both in foul trouble and that has opened the flood gates for them offensively. Other times, they have watched Griffin go to work in the post and then watched Jordan clean up his mess if he misses.
Matchup to Watch: Blake Griffin vs. Draymond Green
The Warriors made the lineup switch to Green in the last game and had to know this might be an unfortunate side effect. Blake Griffin has a huge advantage over Green and he showed it with his ability to post up and score in the Clippers’ Game Five win. Griffin had 18 points in Tuesday’s game as Jordan was the guy who had the majority of the points in the paint. This came after Griffin scored 35 and 32 points in in the Clippers’ two wins.
The thing that should give the Warriors hope is that Green was able to get Griffin into early foul trouble. This is how Golden State won Game One and kept Game Five relatively close. Griffin is so important to so much of what Los Angeles does and he forces Golden State to have to go big. That is, unless Green makes Griffin pay on the perimeter. This matchup could very well likely decide whether the series ends tonight.
Along that theme, the performance for Jordan and Griffin have been big for the Clippers in their wins and that will have to continue as this season winds to its close.
Griffin is averaging 28.3 points per game and 7.0 rebounds per game while shooting 60.7 percent in the Clippers’ three wins. In their losses, he is averaging 18.5 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game on 51.9 percent. DeAndre Jordan, similarly, posts 16.7 points per game and 16.3 rebounds per game — including Game Five’s 25-point, 18-rebound performance — with 4.7 blocks per game and with a 68.2 percent field goal shooting. In losses, Jordan posts 5.5 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game and 3.5 blocks per game on just four-for-six shooting.
Both players have to be big for the Clippers and have really stepped up their production in the three wins this series. Limiting them will be key for the Warriors if they want to extend this series.
Steve Perrin, Clips Nation: The Warriors have impressed me, there’s no question about that. Playing without center Andrew Bogut, and with the Clippers for the most part keeping a lid on any Stephen Curry explosions, the Warriors have nonetheless won two games and been in two more (there were only blown out once, but oh what a blow out it was).
Atma Brother ONE, Golden State of Mind: In Game 5 the Warriors only had one more turnover than the Clippers (13 to 12), but the turnovers were deadly. They lead to easy buckets for the Clippers. The main culprit was surprisingly Stephen Curry with a whopping 8. Unfortunately Curry does have big Monta Ellis turnover nights ever now and then. That’s just something he hasn’t fixed in his game yet. This goes without saying, but Curry needs to take care of the rock in Game 6. If not, the season will be over.
Philip’s Running Prediction: There certainly will not be the same kind of emotion there was Tuesday night as the Clippers take the court. The Warriors have that loud homecourt advantage. But the Warriors have taken advantage of some bad play from the Clippers to get their wins. Game One was marred by foul trouble, Game Four had the controversy. Golden State certainly can win this game and win this series. My gut tells me the Clippers end it tonight in six.