MOBILE USERS CLICK HERE






Yesterday we introduced the playoff edition of the Bloggers Roundtable and today we're back at it again with more Warriors-Clippers discussion from Adam Lauridsen (Fast Break) and Sarah Todd (SFBay.ca) and Brian Witt (warriors.com). Let's get right to it …

What did the regular season series between the Warriors and Clippers tell you?

Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
The overwhelming take-away from the regularly season series? These teams really don't like each other. That's rare in the kinder, gentler modern-day NBA, and it should make for must-watch basketball. Pick any match-up other than Chris Paul and Stephen Curry -- there's a history of bad blood, from coach Mark Jackson down to (presumptive) reserve Draymond Green. And to think it all started with Kent Bazemore laughing on the bench.

Sarah Todd | SFBay.ca Sports Director/Warriors Reporter | @NBASarah
Based on the shenanigans between these teams in the regular season, the matchup between Warriors and Clippers has the potential to be the most physical and exciting matchup of the first round in either conference. No matter how many times any one wants to say "its not a rivalry because neither team has done anything", it's a rivalry. Yes, a rivalry that is new and between revitalized teams with no championship prowess recently. But, this is the beginning of a rivalry that I would say will last for years. During the regular season, Andrew Bogut and Blake Griffin played into each others anger to bring out each other's chippy sides, something I'm sure everyone is bummed they won't witness. But if the regular season has shown anything about these two teams it's that when one of their own goes down, the others try their damnedest to fill the gap. I would say expect down to the wire games, scuffles, trash talk, and highlights galore.

Brian Witt | Warriors.com | @Wittnessed
That we need to come up with some synonyms for “rivalry”, since both sides have been so quick to deflect that notion. Although, I would expect that to change in approximately two weeks when one of them is sent home. It’s no secret, these teams don’t like each other. Not. One. Bit. From separate chapel sessions to countless on-court confrontations, to now verbal jabs through the media, it’s clear neither side shies away from this mutual animosity. Losing Andrew Bogut obviously hurts both the Warriors’ chances and the likelihood of further brew-ha-ha’s to come, but let’s remember – the Dubs went 3-1 against the Clips last season (all without Bogut) and it’s not as if they were sitting around the fire singing Kumbaya when all was said and done.

What under-the-radar player do you think will have the biggest impact on this series?

Sarah Todd | SFBay.ca Sports Director/Warriors Reporter | @NBASarah
I think a lot of people would say Draymond Green, or Harrison Barnes, but I wouldn't consider them under the radar. Most everyone expects Green to be a big part of the Warriors success, and if Harrison comes out of his slump, everyone will remember what he was like during last post season and not be surprised. That's not under the radar, that's just what is expected and a lot of eyes are on the two. My answer is David Lee. The impact could be great, and it could be bad. While the the Warriors are at an obvious size disadvantage without their 7-foot Aussie, Lee has to be able to at least slow down DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. Also, Klay Thompson and Iguodala are going to have to do the heavy lifting defensively against Chris Paul, so this gives David Lee the opportunity to silence the critics. If he can sure up the paint and make his defensive presence known in this series, he could be the unexpected dark horse that people doubted would change the game.

Brian Witt | Warriors.com | @Wittnessed
I don’t know if you can call him under-the-radar, but to me, Klay Thompson is the x-factor in this series. Steph and Paul, the two best at their position, are likely to cancel each other out, both in numbers and overall performance. The Clips have the advantage when it comes to bigs with Bogut out, but that can be neutralized if Klay is able to gain the upper hand in his matchup with J.J. Redick. Klay’s length affords him an advantage Reddick cannot match. If he’s able to use his size and post-up effectively, in addition to his usual proficiency from long distance, that will create tons of options for the Dubs on offense. Options they’ll definitely need if they want to come away with an upset.

Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
Steve Blake. The Clippers are going to run man after man at Stephen Curry. With Bogut out, one way Jackson can adapt is to slide Lee to center and insert Blake as an additional ball-handler. By moving Curry off the ball, the match-ups will become tougher for the Clippers. Running an extra man at Curry will leave a scorer wide open. The Warriors' success will hinge largely on whether Curry, Blake and everyone else can find a way to keep the ball moving. Plus, Blake's toughness and veteran cool will be appreciated in the high-pressure environment of the series.

Who will be the best player on the court in this series?

Brian Witt | Warriors.com | @Wittnessed
The easiest answer would be Blake Griffin, considering he’s likely to put up some pretty gawdy stats without Bogut hounding him in the post. But, stats don’t make you the best. We’re all extremely lucky to get to see Curry and Paul go at it, hopefully for as many games as possible. Paul has long been considered the best point guard in the league and rightfully so, but Curry has definitely closed the gap, and together they’ve separated themselves from the rest of the floor generals around the league. While one does it with insane playmaking skills and incredible toughness, the other is arguably the best shooter to ever pick up a basketball – and he’s not too shabby as a playmaker either. Two different skill sets, one easy conclusion: this is going to be awesome to watch. For my answer, I’ll say Curry, but only by a hair. It’s that close.

Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
While I certainly hope it will be Stephen Curry, my gut says Chris Paul. The Clippers' time to make a run is now. As the leader of the team, I expect Paul to be on a mission. He's given Curry fits in the past (although Curry has had some big games as well). Without Bogut to defend the rim, I worry we'll see CP3's all-around offensive game and plenty of trips to the line. He may not get as many highlights as Griffin or Curry, but I expect him to control the series for the Clippers.

Sarah Todd | SFBay.ca Sports Director/Warriors Reporter | @NBASarah
Stephen Curry. He will need to keep the turnovers down, assert himself on defense, and do what he does best — shoot the lights out. If the Warriors are going to rely on the small ball lineup, he needs to be the best player in this series or there's no hope for Golden State. I think he knows that pressure is on him and will rise up to the challenge.

 

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Golden State Warriors.