Playoff Preview: Warriors-Clippers Game 2

The NBA Playoffs continue at 10:30 p.m. on TNT as the Clippers host the Warriors, hoping to avoid a 2-0 hole 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:

The NBA has since admitted Chris Paul was indeed fouled on that critical turnover late in the game with the Clippers trailing by just a single point. That important possession forced Los Angeles to foul and into sheer desperation mode. This after the Clippers seemingly controlled the game throughout.

This is what the Warriors can do though. That offense can get going and really light up the scoreboard. This game was not even Stephen Curry doing the damage. Golden State had the poise and execution on offense to put this game away and steal home court. The Clippers do not seem too panicked yet about it. They know they have to get this one tonight.

Matchup to Watch: Klay Thompson vs. J.J. Redick

It became pretty clear early on in the game that Klay Thompson presented something of a problem for the Clippers defensively. Thompson is a sharpshooter and that is the part everyone knows about his game. But he is also pretty imposing at 6-foot-7, 205 pounds. For a good chunk of Game One, Thompson went down to the block and tried to post up his defender.

On the season, according to Synergy, posted up on only 9.1 percent of the possessions he used for 0.84 points per possession. That was not a legitimate option for Golden State in the regular season. But against the Clippers in Game One, they found him with his back to the basket time and time again.

Was that a fluke? How will Los Angeles defend it this time around?

CarmeloAnthonyKnicks_BlakeGriffinClippers021013Stat to Chew On: Blake’s absence

A key to Golden State’s win was the simple fact that Blake Griffin hardly played. Griffin logged only 16 minutes with foul trouble before he fouled out. Griffin though was a legitimate MVP candidate and his absence from the lineup was a big deal.

In the regular season, the Clippers were +9.6 points per 100 possessions with Griffin on the floor and only +1.4 points per 100 possessions with Griffin off the floor. The offense dovetails from 111.2 points per 100 possessions with Griffin on to 104.7 with him off. That is a humongous difference and a huge gap in the Clippers’ attack that was missing in this one.

Blogger’s Corner

Jovan Buha of Clipper BlogTheir defensive breakdowns, particularly their backline rotations. The Clippers routinely trapped Steph Curry’s pick-and-rolls, but didn’t do a good job of recovering and were often forced into 4-on-3 situations. The Warriors made them pay, finding the open man and converting on a slew of 3s and dunks.

Nate Parham of Golden State of MindPerhaps tempering the excitement over that win is the fact that Game 2 will definitely be a different game, which could lead to a less satisfactory outcome: while we look forward to seeing Andre Iguodala in the game for more than 20 minutes, the Clippers will have Chris Paul and Blake Griffin back in action.

Philip’s Running Prediction: This one is still a toss-up in my mind. Not budging on my prediction of Clippers in 7. There just is no reason for the Clippers to panic at this point. It is just one game and there were some odd calls and bad bounces that happen. Certainly Los Angeles will have more urgency in this one and feel the pressure to get the win this time around.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily