By Cody Williams @TheSizzle20 on April 17, 2014
Clippers-Warriors might be the first-round playoff matchup that everyone is most excited to see. The matchup pits two of the most exciting and explosive teams in the league against one another. Despite solid defensive efforts from both teams this season, this series could be an offensive treat. How do the two teams break down against one another?
There’s no doubt that this is the matchup to watch with two of the league’s best point guards battling it out. Curry will certainly make his presence felt, but the edge goes to Paul. CP3 not only has experience on his side, but he shredded Golden State for 28 points, 12.7 assists, four rebounds and 3.7 steals per game in three games against them this season.
The matchup at the two-guard between Redick and Thompson features some absolutely beautiful shooting that should be another treat to watch. However, Thompson gets the slight nod over Redick because his ceiling offensively is a bit higher in that he’s more likely to go off than his counterpart.
Andre Iguodala and Matt Barnes is a matchup that could get a bit chippy at times, and should feature a lot of grinding, physical play. Iguodala has the advantage, though, because he’s just so vital to the Warriors defensively and can ignite his team with explosive offense and by creating fast breaks on the defensive end.
In the four matchups between these two teams this season, both Griffin and Lee performed very well. However, Griffin has the advantage as he’s shown this season that he can be a monstrous force on the offensive end. Moreover, Griffin’s offense comes so naturally in the Clippers’ offense while Lee’s offense sometimes comes at a detriment to Golden State.
This is the matchup to watch simply because the Warriors are so depleted at the center position. Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely and Festus Ezeli hasn’t played all season and his return is still in question, leaving aging veteran Jermaine O’Neal to shoulder the load. Advantage: DeAndre Jordan.
Though the Warriors have a group of players on their bench that can come up big at any time with guys like Jordan Crawford, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green, the Clippers have the obvious edge. Even if they don’t play Danny Granger big minutes, guys like Jamal Crawford, Jared Dudley and Glen Davis will be key for them and can come up big consistently in their respective roles.
The coaching matchup may be the biggest mismatch in the series. While Jackson is a great motivator, his coaching with the Warriors this season has rightfully been brought into question. Meanwhile Rivers has been phenomenal and has the Clips playing like many thought they could have been all along. It’s really no contest when it comes to Xs and Os.
The Clippers and Warriors split their season series at two games apiece with the winner scoring over 100 points on all four occasions. The biggest thing to watch is the health of Andrew Bogut. Suffering from a fractured rib, the Warriors will be missing a huge part of their defense that could really hurt them against Paul and Griffin in this series.
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