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With focus shifting from what’s happening on the court to actions taken off of it, we bring back Jordan Ramirez (Warriors World) and Grant Hughes (Bleacher Report) for some more discussion on the Warriors-Clippers playoff series in another edition of the Bloggers Roundtable. We let them take it from here.

Who or what would you say are the most important wildcards in this series?

Jordan Ramirez | Warriors World | @JRAM_91
The whole Donald Sterling mess has proven to be a wildcard for this series. While the Warriors played their best game of the series by far on Sunday, there's no doubt the disgust dripping from the Sterling situation distracted the Clippers. Even if a resolution comes from Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday, this issue is far from over and it will continue to go on after this series is done with. Doc Rivers being head coach of the Clippers and Chris Paul being president of the NBA players union puts them at an extreme disadvantage, more so than other people within in the league. Doc has to answer questions about this disgusting situation every day and Paul will continue to have discussion with NBA brass on how to handle this as a representative for the players. This is a unique situation for everyone involved, and one that will detract from any and all basketball conversation preceding and following games. The players (and coaches) can say all they want about putting the series ahead of everything else and blocking this out of their minds, but they can't. It's a sport, but Sterling's comments are a reminder that these types of ignorant feelings still exist. Whichever team can overcome such disturbances the best will win this series, regardless of talent.

Grant Hughes | Bleacher Report | @g30three
Does petitioning the NBA to postpone the series until Andrew Bogut can return count as an adjustment?

You can throw all of the other wild cards out the window now. Before Donald Sterling's comments changed the tone of this series, it was fine to wonder about matchups, playing styles and strategic adjustments. You could even have pegged role-players like Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes as the guys who could swing the series one way or the other.

Now, it's all about how the Clippers respond to the bizarre reality of playing for an owner who clearly doesn't respect them. They'll have to cope with the fact that their success on the floor directly leads to success for Sterling, and that makes for an extremely complicated emotional situation. We saw L.A. come out unfocused in Game 4, and the Warriors took advantage. Who knows where the Clips' heads and hearts will be when the series shifts back to Los Angeles? We've never seen anything like this before, so it's impossible to know what the fallout will be.

Stephen Curry had 33 points in Sunday's Game 4 win. (photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)

Does Stephen Curry have to have a big game in order for the Warriors to win in this series?

Grant Hughes | Bleacher Report | @g30three
Not necessarily. The Warriors won Game 1, despite Curry scoring just 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting. And they lost the first regular-season meeting with the Clipper this year when Curry hit nine triples and scored 38 points. It's tempting to look at the way he took over Game 4 in the early going and say Curry has to be a big scoring factor for the Warriors to win going forward, but that's really not the case.

It's important for Curry to play well, obviously. And as we've seen a handful of times now, that has as much to do with his decision-making and ball-security as anything else. If he's attacking aggressively but not giving the ball away, the Warriors are dangerous. That's really the key; he has to be forceful in whatever he does, and he must be at least a threat to shoot the ball in order to keep the Clippers defense honest.

Jordan Ramirez | Warriors World | @JRAM_91
Game 1 proved that the Warriors can win an ugly game without their superstar playing well. Both teams were off in that game, but the Warriors found something in Game 4 that can prove to be a series changing adjustment. Mark Jackson (finally) made the switch that fans and critics alike thought would be the best move for the team before the series even started: insert Draymond Green into the starting lineup and move David Lee to center. The move spaces the floor and allows known shot blocker DeAndre Jordan to roam outside the paint, opening up driving lanes. The new lineup also allows for better execution out on the perimeter with higher percentage screens and the ability to give Curry enough space to throw up his usual array of spectacular shots. Curry went off, and the Warriors offense looked as fluid as it has in weeks. Can the Clippers adjust and start hounding Curry like they successfully did through the first three games of the series? That's the question at hand now. But, if both teams aren't at their best and the Warriors don't suddenly trade or waive Draymond Green mid-series, they absolutely can win with Curry having a pedestrian game. Of course, if Curry's hitting the offense is most likely flowing at its best. That is when this team is operating on all cylinders, and the Warriors would be better off not having to find out if they can overcome another off night for their franchise player.

Perhaps Klay Thompson's most memorable basket in this series is this Game 4 dunk. (photo: Thearon W. Henderson/NBAE/Getty)

What was your reaction to Klay Thompson’s Game 4 dunk?

Jordan Ramirez | Warriors World | @JRAM_91
The Warriors have a fine history of playoff dunks in their recent run of playoff success. Back in 2007, it was Baron Davis dunking over heralded Russian defender Andrei Kirilenko. Last season it was Harrison Barnes throwing down a vicious reverse slam over former Warrior Anthony Randolph. In that same series, Andrew Bogut put JaVale McGee on a poster. This dunk by Klay Thompson wasn't as explosive as Baron's or on the massive scale as Bogut's, but it had its own symbolism in the slam and could prove to be the turning point of the series. Before this season, one of Thompson's criticisms was his inability (or unwillingness) to get to the rim. He was a fantastic catch-and-shoot player, but to become the complete offensive player that his talents suggest, getting to the basket would have to be an added skill to his repertoire. Since his game-winning bucket in Indiana to beat the Pacers in early March, Thompson has looked like a new, confident player. He's willing to take the big shots and is now driving to the basket when he sees fit. His dunk over Glen "Big Baby" Davis in Game 4 doesn't happen last season, maybe not even earlier this season. It's a clear representation of Thompson's growth as a player, and having finished it over the befuddling oaf that is Big Baby made it that much sweeter.

Grant Hughes | Bleacher Report | @g30three
There's a replay angle of that dunk where Thompson's head appears to be inches from the rim, so my first reaction upon seeing that was to ask nobody in particular "Where did that come from?" We've watched Thompson attack the basket much more effectively this year—especially in the second half of the season. But that was a posterization the likes of which we've never seen.

Thompson claimed earlier in the season that it was a goal for him to dunk on somebody this year, and he's accomplished that a handful of times. I guess that means we need to shift our focus to Curry now. He's had a couple of open-court slams this season, so maybe it's his turn to throw one down in traffic.

 

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

 

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