Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers
Date and Time: Monday, November 12, 2018, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Opening NBA Odds: Check Back Later
Warriors at Clippers TV Coverage: NBA TV
Winning eight in a row all convincingly was a sure sign the Warriors are serious about another championship. But like any team in any professional sport, health is a key issue. Already missing Draymond Green with a foot injury, the Warriors watched Stephen Curry limp to the locker room in the third quarter of Thursday’s game with Milwaukee. The Dubs didn’t have all their weapons, and the ones they did have were shooting blanks. Their streak came to an end with a 23-point loss to the Bucks.
One snafu over the course of an 82-game schedule isn’t a cause for concern, and the Warriors aren’t losing sleep over the outcome. Kerr doesn’t believe the injuries to Green and Curry are long-term and the Dubs will get back to their winning ways. You don’t win eight in a row with an average margin of 18 points with half the games having a margin of 20 points or more and suddenly become a bad team.
When the Clippers were enjoying the most success in the franchise’s history they had little luck against the Warriors. The Lob City stars couldn’t get it done in the playoffs, either, and the team was dismantled. It’s a new-look group and Doc Rivers has them over .500 through the first 11 games of the season. And just like nearly every team in the league, the Clips are scoring at an alarming rate. They rank ninth in the league scoring 115.2 points per game and they are one of the top shooting teams.
However, their splits are more pronounced. The Clips had their lowest point total since opening night in a 116-105 loss to the Blazers on Thursday and they are averaging only 107 points in their losses compared to 122 points per outing in their victories. They missed Avery Bradley’s perimeter defense against the Blazers as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined to make five threes and score 48 points.
What to Watch For
The line at top NBA sportsbooks becomes much tighter if Green and Curry are out for this one. Green hurt his toe against Memphis last week and was shelved more as a precaution, according to Kerr. But Curry’s injury could be more of a concern. He tweaked his groin against the Bucks and exited the game. As a result, the third quarter that typically belongs to the Warriors didn’t. The Dubs were outscored 41-28 and they couldn’t overcome the deficit. The Warriors have gotten used to playing without Curry. He missed 31 games last season and the Dubs survived with a 59-win regular season. And they will survive again, only the games might be closer.
It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but the Warriors are again the most efficient team in the NBA. They lead the league in scoring, field goal percentage and three-point percentage, and they have three players averaging 20 or more points per game. Their recent 8-game winning streak was proof of how dominant they can be. They won by an average of 18 points with seven games decided by at least 10 points. They won half of those games by 20 points or more. The Dubs routinely play against some of the highest totals in the league and they have cashed the over in four of their five road games.
Warriors at Clippers NBA Picks
The Clips have two pesky backcourt players in Bradley and Patrick Beverley and their defensive game will need to be at its best against the Warriors. If Bradley plays – he’s missed a few games due to injury – the Clips have a shot to keep the game close. Doc isn’t afraid to use his bench either with nine players averaging over 15 minutes per game and six scoring at least 8.0 points per outing. I don’t think the Clips are going to win this game, unless Lou Williams goes off for 50 again, but I like them to hang around the spread and keep the score below the total.
Warriors at Clippers Score Prediction: Warriors 112, Clippers 107