Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors got off to a swimming start to their season after taking down the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on opening night. Now, they’re sat to face off against the ‘other’ LA team – and the Clippers are going to be the ones in the visitors’ locker room.
Can the Dubs make it a double-takedown of the Hollywood teams to start the season? Catch this game live on October 22, at 10:00 AM, Manila time.
Away: LA Clippers (0-0, 0-0 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Reggie Jackson
- SG: Eric Bledsoe
- SF: Paul George
- PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
- C: Ivica Zubac
Kawhi Leonard isn’t coming back soon, so Paul George is obviously going to carry the load for the Clippers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, considering George averaged 26.9 PPG, 9.6 RPG and 5.4 APG in the playoffs. But in a two-star setup, it’s always going to hurt when one of them is out – kind of like the situation the Warriors have with Klay Thompson still out until at least the end of the year.
The Clippers do have a few things going for them though, including Reggie Jackson, who rediscovered his game in the postseason and was a cold-blooded killer who averaged 17.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 3.4 APG while shooting 40.8% from beyond the arc. They’ll also be expecting more of Terance Mann, who filled in admirably in Leonard’s absence and even notched a 39-point game to knock the Utah Jazz out of the playoffs.
Marcus Morris Sr. and Ivica Zubac should play similar roles for the Clippers, but the new question mark is Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe’s scoring output has decreased over the last four seasons, from 17.7 PPG in 2017-18 to 12.2 PPG last season. His field goal percentages in that time period also went down from 47.3% to 42.1%. It will be interesting to see what his usage rate will be on the Clippers, especially since they’re shorthanded.
Another worry for the Clippers is that Nicolas Batum will not be playing due to personal reasons, taking away one of their smartest and most effective veteran defenders.
Home: Golden State Warriors (1-0, 0-0 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Steph Curry
- SG: Jordan Poole
- SF: Andrew Wiggins
- PF: Draymond Green
- C: Kevon Looney
The Warriors didn’t have it easy in their victory against the Lakers, but they still managed to come back and win even with Steph Curry going 5 of 21 from the field. It’s worth noting that Curry still had a hell of a game in every other aspect as he finished with a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals on 4 turnovers.
Jordan Poole continued to show why he’s a bright spot for the Warriors, too, with 20 points as he shot 8 of 18 from the field and 4 of 11 from deep. He’s a shot taker, and a shot maker, and it looks like he’s been given the green light from Steve Kerr to fire away fearlessly.
Andrew Wiggins may have the pressure to score taken off him thanks to Poole’s ascent, and he’s a good third option. The key man for the Warriors in this matchup may again be Nemanja Bjelica, who anchored their second unit with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal while finishing with a game-best plus/minus of +20.
While the Dubs didn’t make any marquee signings, it looks like they’ve got a deep rotation and that’s something that could make a difference.
Spread: The Warriors looked good in their opener during a comeback win, and Curry probably won’t go cold again. I like GSW at -3.5.
Over/Under: With these two teams, I’m liking the over 226.