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Golden States Ideal Matchup

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It’s the last game of the Clippers-Jazz series tomorrow and the winner of that game plays Golden State in the 2nd round. This would give Golden State a week of rest and fresh legs (after blowing past the Blazers 4-0) and a tired Clippers/Jazz team. Stephen Curry seems to be in peak form posting 29.7 ppg on 45% shooting from the field. Also 5.3 rpg, 6.5 assist with 2 steals.

So with that being said; whoever wins I don’t believe they will advance over these Warriors, but who would be a more ideal matchup for the Dubs? Here’s 3 reason why the Warriors would and wouldn’t want to play these two teams.

Los Angeles Clippers

                               SLC Dunk

Starting Lineup

PG – Chris Paul

SG – JJ Reddick

SF – Luc Mbah a Moute

PF – Mareese Speights

C – DeAndre Jordan

The big story about the Clippers is missing All-star power forward Blake Griffin. Clippers are typically better without Griffin and with Chris Paul in the lineup. In the 10 games without him the season they went 8-2 with a slightly better point differential manufacturing location and opponents. All time without Griffin they are 50-26 dating back to 2014-15 and including this years playoffs.

Now they add former Warriors power forward Mareese Speights to the starting lineup, and now, they have a little more floor space to operate with Jordan down low crashing the boards, and Speights spotting up for 3 and old man river in Jamal Crawford who can now dance freely to the rim.

The Warriors torched the Clippers in all of their meeting this season including the preseason by an average of 28.5 points. Also beating the Clippers in rebounds per game (35.5 Clippers/48.5 Warriors), assist per game (22 Clippers/ 33.3 Warriors, and posting lower  turnovers (16 Clippers/ 11 Warriors); preseason included.

The Clippers beat the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs back in 2014 in a 7 games series during the Donald Sterling saga. But the Warriors wouldn’t stay quiet for long as the next season the swept the NBA any surprise finishing 67-15 and winning the NBA Finals against LeBron James and a depleted Cavaliers team. But never met the Clippers as they exited early giving up a 3-1 lead to the Rockets in 2014 and last year getting bounced by the Blazers with an injured Chris Paul (broken hand) and Blake Griffin (knee).

Chris Paul has averaged 27.3 PPG on 52% shooting from the field. Also dishing 10 assist per contest and 5.2 rebounds; helping with the boards. Off the bench the always reliable Jamal Crawford has been somewhat instrumental averaging only 11.3 on 40% shooting in 27 minutes of the 6 games played; a shade under his 12 PPG in the regular season.

The Warriors obviously don’t need a lot of size to compete on the boards with the Clippers. They also don’t have to worry about if they have enough length with a rejuvenated Javale McGee who was the X factor of the first round. This would typically be an easier matchup in my opinion and probably favorable for all Golden State fans.

Utah Jazz

                          Sports Illustrated

Starting Lineup

PG – George Hill

SG – Joe Ingels

SF – Gordon Hayward

PF – Boris Diaw

C – Rudy Gobert

Dating back to last season, the Utah Jazz typically give Golden State a run for their money and sometimes they get away with it. Utah went 1-2 in the season series with the Warriors.

In the meeting the Jazz beat the Warriors, they beat them in every team category except blocks, FG percentage and FT percentage but they did beat them in 3 point percentage. The Jazz were top 20 while the Clippers ranked 9thh in defending the 3 (stats by per TeamRankings) something we all know Golden State does well.

Gordon Hayward has been instrumental in this series, averaging 23.3 PPG on 47 percent shooting from the field and also helping on the glass with 7.2 RPG. Their X Factor has been none only but ‘Iso Joe’ who put Utah up 3-2 with an 11 point 4th quarter and 18 for the game and also a game winner. If he can be more sound than Jamal Crawford then the Jazz can pull this out.

This would be an interesting matchup for the Warriors as far as length goes. Zaza Pachulia has his work cut out for him as the starting center for the Warriors but gang rebounding is in the Warriors philosophy as they rebound. This would be an exciting match but not really favorable if you want to go into the WCF rested because this Jazz team doesn’t quit, because they are a tough out.

The Warriors will advance either way but they will not be given the easy road with or without Blake Griffin and with or without length. Game 7 on ABC at 3:30 est

About Aaron Davis

Aaron is a staff writer and the Co-Founder of NBALEAD. He has been following the NBA for over 15 years. Graduated from Purdue University.

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