When two teams that hate each other clash, even in a preseason game, you expect the bad blood to mean something. Instead, the Golden State Warriors (won 112-94) and the Los Angeles Clippers focused on purely basketball things, which might mean that they’re saving the nastier, and sometimes better stuff, for later, when it actually means something.
It’s hard to pin point when exactly this feud began. It probably has something to do with the existence of Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green on the Warriors team, and it just rolled on from there. Playing a playoff series against each other didn’t help. The Clippers and the Thunder aren’t very good friends either, so maybe some of this brawl-potential has something to do with the Clippers rubbing teams the wrong way.
During the minutes when important and starting players were playing, it was quite close. The game turned into a blowout only later on. For the Warriors, this was their first game with Steve Kerr calling the shots. It was the same lineup which includes Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Lee and Bogut. The Clippers didn’t change anything with Paul, Grifin, Redick, Barnes and Jordan.
The Warriors didn’t feature much of their new players. Shaun Livingston didn’t play. Leandro Barbosa scored 8 points and rookie James Michael McAdoo added 3 points in 10 minutes. Kerr, for the most part, is going to try and reach at least the conference semifinals if not more to please the men in the front office, with the same material Mark Jackson had to work with, with slight changes to the bench and overall depth.
The Clippers got a nice debut from Spencer Hawes, scoring 9 points and grabbing 8 rebounds off the bench. He’s probably going to be the only meaningful addition to the roster this season, which was pretty full to begin with. Blake Griffin had himself a solid game, probably better than anyone else on the court, scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He took a leap forward last season, and this year might continue that trend, which is scary to think about for some of his opponents.
Chris Paul scored 14 points to go with his nine assists as the two stars for the Clippers looked better than all the rest of their teammates. There wasn’t anything special on the Warriors, except for Stephen Curry fouling out to his surprise, expecting some preferential treatment from officials perhaps. Klay Thompson, who had a very good Basketball World Cup, led the team with 20 points, also adding four steals.