Golden State Find Themselves In a First Round Grudge Match With The LA Clippers.
Perhaps the most embarrassing moment of the NBA 2018-2019 regular and postseason was seeing the Golden State Warriors blow a 31 point lead to the Los Angeles Clippers last night. It’s premature to assume that this signals a disconnect in team chemistry but the Warriors were certainly off during last night’s fourth quarter. It might also be too soon to worry about free agency, but it would be unwise to ignore the constant chatter surrounding Kevin Durant’s impending decision and the looming teams who will definitely be inquiring about employing him. Durant’s tiffs with fellow teammate Draymond Green on the court are manifestations of the tension that might exist in the Warriors locker room and might be the push that Durant needs to head east (potentially signing with the Knicks) or remaining in the Golden State, but wearing a Clippers jersey and playing at the Staples Center. “We don’t need you. We won without you. Leave.” is what Green yelled at Durant during a game early on in the season and this could certainly become reality.
Although the Clippers are mammoth underdogs in their playoff series against the Warriors, they are no slouches. The Clippers possess grit and flowing unity that led them to overcome their 31 point deficit in Game 2, no easy feat. With Patrick Beverley playing lockdown defense, Montrezl Harrell posting up in the paint, and Danilo Gallinari sharpshooting three-point shots from the perimeter, it’s easy to see how the eighth-seeded team in the Western Conference secured a victory in Oakland last night.
Of course, this is only game 2 of the first round, and the Warriors are the defending champions who must be given respect. Most likely the Warriors will bounce back and win the series, but the chippy nature of playoff basketball has certainly reared its head, making this first round quite an interesting one. The intensity of the play between Durant and Beverley leading to a double ejection in Game 1 is the sort of action that fans clamor for. And, now that Demarcus Cousins has suffered a left quad injury and might miss the rest of the playoffs, it will be crucial to observe the team’s play without their big man in the post. Game 3 at the Staples Center is must watch tv.