Game Of The Week: L.A Clippers V Golden State Warriors.[caption id="attachment_13381" align="aligncenter" width="631"] Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images[/caption] It is already week 10 of the 2012-13 NBA season, how time flies. This week we will see some exciting match ups, none more so than Clippers V Warriors. So lets take a look.
GAME TIME & VIEWING OPTIONS:Time & Date: Thursday, January 3, 2013 2:30pm AEDT Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland. Viewing Info: NBA League Pass (see our TV Guide for full info)
FORM HEADING IN:The last time these two teams met was at the beginning of November. Golden State came out on top in a very tight contest, 114-110 Los Angeles Clippers: 24-6 The Clippers are the form team of the NBA. They are currently on a league best and franchise record 16 game winning streak. Many people still don't believe that they are a legitimate title contender but they clearly haven't been watching the way this team plays night in, night out. Their 16th consecutive win came against Utah. In the third quarter L.A trailed by 19 points but rallied to record a historic win. Golden State Warriors: 21-10 Golden State's record is not to be ignored either. Of their last 14 games, they have come out on top 11 times. The whole Warriors team look like they are really enjoying playing together and each individual understands the role on the team. Their latest win came against Boston in a dominant display, punctuated by outside shooting.
MATCH UP OF THE NIGHT:Both teams have arguably their most important player at the point guard position. So it makes sense that they would be the match up of the night. Chris Paul and Stephen Curry are the control center of their respective teams. CP3 has been phenomenal for the Clippers this season. Paul's influence on the Clippers can not be underestimated. Without him running the show, the Clippers would still be an average team. When the Clippers need Paul to score, he scores. When the Clippers need Paul to facilitate, he facilitates. It is well known that Paul becomes a free agent at the end of this season and many of his team mates have said they are trying harder because they want Paul to stick around. When Stephen Curry is healthy the Warriors are a different team. Throughout his short NBA career Curry has battled constant injuries, but this season he has finally been able to play pain free and he hasn't missed a single game. Curry is great at controlling the tempo of his team and has made Warrior fans forget about the loss of Monta Ellis' and his scoring contribution. Both of these players are getting buzz around their MVP chances, as they should be. At the start of the season Paul was being unfairly left out of MVP talk but as the Clippers have gained momentum so has he. His production has been at a consistently high level all season and I can't see it slowing down in the near future. Curry has converted all the talent that everyone knew he had and has put together the most consistent season of his career. Because of this he has been way up there in MVP talks, most weeks he is in the top 3 of point guards. This match up will be a treat for fans who love to watch premier point guards going head to head. Curry will need to try to limit the amount of times that Paul can find Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan for the easy alley-oops. Whereas Paul will need to try to limit the amount of times Curry can find Klay Thompson and other outside shooters for uncontested shots.
BENCH BATTLE:This bench battle will be on the of most intense battles of the season. These two teams have arguably the best two benches in the NBA. When the starters are getting their rest, both second units come in and more than hold their own, often against starters from the opposition. You will notice that all players mentioned have crossed from different teams in the off season. No one can talk about L.A without mentioning Jamal Crawford. Crawford is the biggest reason as to why the Clippers have improved from last year. The 12 year veteran has proved to be the added punch the Clippers were missing in last years playoffs. Crawford may not be starting for L.A but he is certainly on the court when the Clippers are closing out tight matches. Crawford is averaging the second most points on the Clippers team, Griffin is leading. Carl Landry has made a huge impact for Golden State since crossing from Portland in the off season. He is the leader of the Warriors second unit and appears to be loving life in the Bay Area. Landry has bought into the way the Warriors are trying to play and it has translated on to the stat sheet. While David Lee pulls down the most rebounds for Golden State, Landry certainly pitches in on the boards, averaging almost 7 a game. Matt Barnes was another great pick up for the Clippers. Barnes is having a great season, averaging the most points, blocks and steals of his 9 year career. Barnes has been a valuable back up for Caron Butler at the small forward position. He competes hard, plays good defense and isn't afraid to get in opponent's heads. Jarrett Jack is just another in a long list of Golden State players that can light it up from beyond the arc. Jack is shooting a very healthy 43% from 3 point land, which complements Thompson and Curry perfectly. In some matches when Jack gets on a roll, he looks almost unstoppable from long range.
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UPS:Los Angeles Clippers
- Point guard: Chris Paul
- Shooting guard: WIllie Green
- Small forward: Caron Butler
- Power forward: Blake Griffin
- Centre: DeAndre Jordan
- Point guard: Stephen Curry
- Shooting guard: Klay Thompson
- Small forward: Harrison Barnes
- Power forward: David Lee
- Centre: Festus Ezeli