Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers
The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers meet in the first round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference playoffs. Here is a series breakdown position by position.
Point Guard - Patrick Beverley could play any day of the week on my team, as his toughness, defense and willingness to piss off the other teams star player makes me happy. A real roughrider in a league that’s become soft over the years. Still, Steph Curry is the best shooter in the history of the game and can takeover the way most in this league can’t. I have a man crush on Beverley, but there’s no doubt who has the edge at point guard.
Shooting Guard - Landry Shamet has proven to be a solid player despite a small sample size and he can be a real difference maker when he’s hitting the outside shot. However, Klay Thompson is on the other end of the court, and he’s still one of the best two-way players in the league and has a game or two each series where he can’t miss.
Small Forward - Kevin Durant is one of the best three players in the world. No disrespect to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but nobody has an edge over KD when it comes to his own position.
Power Forward - Danilo Gallinari is one of those players you forget how good he’s capable of being due to him constantly being hurt. If Gallinari plays to his ability, he gives the Clippers a much stronger chance to make this series at least competitive. Love or hate Draymond Green, he’s the straw that stirs the drink in Oakland with all of the little things he does and being one of the top defenders in the league.
Center - Ivica Zubac is a quality young player who the Clippers were able to steal from the Lakers. Numbers indicate the Warriors are probably better without DeMarcus Cousins, but he’s still arguably the best center in the league when healthy and he’s had a few games already where he’s absolutely dominated. From a pure position stand point, Cousins has the edge here.
Bench - While Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney have their moments, the Warriors don’t have the bench they’ve had in years past and it’s forced them to rely much more heavily on their all-star lineup. The Clippers probably have the best bench player in the league in Lou Williams and a hustle player in Montrezl Harrell who plays hard and has periods where he dominates the glass. Those two guys are huge reasons why the Clippers are where they are when everybody said they are tanking.
Series Prediction: Warriors in 4. I wanted to give the Clippers a game, as I like this roster and love some of the old school players they have leading the charge. The Clippers play hard and I respect it. And while the Warriors don’t have the same overwhelming feel they’ve had in past years, they’re still head and shoulders the more talented team. I’ll be rooting for the Clippers to push the Warriors, but from a betting perspective and not picking with my heart, this should be a quick series between two conference rivals.