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Warriors vs. Clippers Preview Article


CTG Super Moderator
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Warriors vs. Clippers Picks & Prediction February 14: Underdog Warriors to Hang Tight with Clippers

Best Bet: Warriors +8.5 at -105 with BetOnline

Score Prediction: Warriors 113 -- Clippers 108

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 10 p.m. ET at crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles


The Warriors are currently on the second leg of a back-to-back, since they just played the Wizards last night?

Should this scheduling matter be a cause for concern?

Golden State started out its season poorly in this situation.

But the Warriors have now won two of their last three games that took place a day after another game.

While skeptics may point out that the Warriors are going to be short-handed tonight, they have proven that this is not an obstacle.

For example, on the second leg of a back-to-back, they beat a strong Cavalier squad that is especially good at home.

Impressively, they beat Cleveland without the services of either star guard Steph Curry or Klay Thompson.

Missing Curry and Maybe Thompson

Tonight's injury report indicates Golden State's lower offensive ceiling tonight.

Curry remains listed as 'out' with a lower leg injury that will keep him resting at least through the All-Star Break.

As for Thompson, he has not played in the second leg of a back-to-back all season.

While reports indicate that he might actually play tonight, his ability to play well in a back-to-back is obviously questionable given his team's general determination to rest him in this situation.

My argument is that without these players -- or at least without them playing well -- the Warriors will have to win while scoring fewer points in a lower-scoring game.

Guards to Step Up

Key Warrior guards tonight will be Jordan Poole and Donte DIVincenzo -- the latter will be particularly crucial if Thompson rests.

Both players are versatile scorers.

Poole, despite his reputation as a sharpshooter, is also effective driving to the basket and scoring at the rim.

Within five feet of the basket, he attempts 4.1 shots per game and converts 65.4 percent of them.

Likewise, DiVincenzo is generally efficient inside the arc.

Clippers' Defense Against Guards

Good guard play -- specifically guards who are effective both inside and outside the arc -- repeatedly gives the Clipper defense trouble.

Two recent examples include L.A.'s game against the Nets, in which Net shooting guard Cam Thomas amassed 47 points, and L.A.'s game against the Knicks, where Knick point guard Jalen Brunson put up 41 points.

These guards performed unusually well against the Clippers by showcasing their characteristic versatility.

While one may be concerned about the Warriors' depth -- after all, Poole and DiVincenzo wouldn't be getting as many minutes as they would be if the Warrior backcourt were fit and healthy -- the Warriors do have other players.

Former first-rounder Ty Jerome is another example of someone who can score inside -- he likes to execute a running teardrop, for example -- while remaining efficient from behind the arc.

Again, these players are not going to combine for a crazy number of points as if one of them were Curry and the other an in-form, well-rested Thompson, but they will still get the Warriors to a solid team total.

Andrew Wiggins

Warrior forward Andrew Wiggins is another weapon who can shoot -- he is converting 39.3 percent of his three-point attempts -- while posing a threat inside with his characteristic driving ability.

Especially with Wiggins, Poole, and DiVincenzo -- the latter converts just over 41 percent of his three-point attempts -- the Warriors have the personnel to exploit a Clipper defense that ranks in the bottom half at limiting opposing three-point attempts and that, among other faults, allows the ninth-highest rate of open three-point attempts.

Wiggins will also be crucial on defense, as his defensive rating evidences his strong on-ball defense.

He will limit Clipper shooting guard Paul George and teammate and forward Kawhi Leonard.

Clipper Chemistry

Clipper guards are shorthanded due to recent trades that witnessed the departures of John Wall, Reggie Jackson, and Luke Kennard.

While the Clippers acquired some reinforcements -- Eric Gordon and Bones Hyland are name-worthy -- the Clippers are still looking for reinforcements.

Plus, these new players will be making their debut, although they require time to gain chemistry.

Bully Required

The Clipper offense will also be limited by the fact that they lack a bully down low who can score efficiently.

Golden State is undersized at the center position and would be vulnerable to strong scorers inside.

The Verdict

Both teams are lacking at the guard positions, although Warriors guards will be more effective given their superior chemistry and the match-up advantage that they have in view of their versatility.

Best Bet: Under 227 at -108 with BetOnline