Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors - 4/19/14
Golden State Warriors (51-31) at Los Angeles Clippers (57-25)
NBA Basketball: Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 3:30 pm (STAPLES Center)
The Line: Los Angeles Clippers -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Golden State Warriors invade the Staples Center looking to steal Game 1 from the Los Angeles Clippers today.
The Warriors haven't exactly been a model of consistency this season, but they did win 15 of their last 22 regular season games to seal the sixth seed in the West and book a date with their most hated opponents, the Clippers. Andrew Bogut missed the last two games of the regular season with a broken rib and is expected to miss some time in the playoffs, which is a massive loss for the Warriors who will have to deal with the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, but the good news is that David Lee has since returned to the court and is good to go. Obviously, the Warriors' fortunes are heavily reliant on Stephen Curry's performances but Klay Thompson needs to step up too, as well as Harrison Barnes who hasn't seen enough minutes this season but showed last playoffs just how valuable he can be coming off the bench.
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Meanwhile, the Clippers have improved on last season's efforts, closing out the season winning 20 of 25 overall to finish with a franchise-record 57 wins. With another stellar season, Chris Paul once again showed why he is still the best point guard in the league, but it wasn't until CP3 got injured that the Clippers matured into serious contenders for the title. Coach Doc Rivers now runs more offense through Blake Griffin which has made them so much tougher to guard. Add to that, the roster additions of Danny Granger and Glen Davis and you have a team that can go all the way.
In ATS trends, the Warriors are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five road games, while the Clippers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 games against the Western Conference.
Head to head, the Home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings and the Over is 7-2 in the last nine meetings overall.
I'm fully expecting the Clippers to win both of their home games and take a 2-0 lead to Golden State so I'll be taking them to win and cover here if the spread is reasonable.
It's tempting to take the Warriors with the points here but I'm sticking with the Clippers who I expect will kick off their title run with a statement win tonight.