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LA Clippers vs Golden State Warriors Prediction: 3 key matchups that could determine the game | NBA Season 2020-21

Golden State Warriors.
Golden State Warriors.
ANALYST
Modified 06 Jan 2021, 22:33 IST
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The Golden State Warriors and the LA Clippers will meet twice in the next three nights at San Francisco's Chase Center. The two teams have had a nice start to the season, even though both have suffered some huge blowouts.

Still, these two squads are playing at a good level of late. The Golden State Warriors have a 4-3 record in the 2020-21 NBA season, while the LA Clippers are at 5-3 after their recent loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Stephen Curry has led the Golden State Warriors to four wins in their last five outings, while the LA Clippers have won three of their last five games. Golden State's best win came against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 3rd when Curry scored 62 points.

The LA Clippers defeated the LA Lakers on the opening night and registered great wins against the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns on the road.

Paul George has been LAC's engine so far, while Kawhi Leonard is doing a good job as a playmaker.

For the Golden State Warriors, Curry's heroics need to occur consistently, while Draymond Green's return for the previous three games helped their defense.

Both teams have more than one player with multiple All-Star Game appearances and decorated stars. Stephen Curry is a two-time NBA MVP, and Draymond Green is a Defensive-Player-of-the-Year winner. On the LA Clippers' roster, Kawhi Leonard is a two-time NBA Finals MVP, while Paul George has six All-Star and five All-NBA selections in his NBA career.

Moreover, both teams have centers who are strong figures in the middle. A veteran and NBA champion, Serge Ibaka, is protecting the LA Clippers' paint, while rookie James Wiseman has done a good job adapting to his role with the Golden State Warriors.

LA Clippers vs Golden State Warriors Prediction: 3 key matchups that could impact the game's outcome

In this article, we will give you the three key matchups that will have a huge impact in this Western Conference game between the Golden State Warriors and LA Clippers.

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Without further ado, let us start.


#1 Patrick Beverley (LA Clippers) vs Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors.
Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors.

LA Clippers' will be trying to slow down Stephen Curry's game on the defensive end. Patrick Beverley is a three-time All-Defensive player, and he is expected to pose a threat to Curry's offense.

Even though Beverley will not shut Curry down, he can make him spend lots of energy on offense. Of course, Steph is a tricky player to check for any defender since he is constantly on the move, with or without the ball in his hands.

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A nice way to approach this matchup for Beverley will be to attack the former MVP Curry on the other side of the ball. Beverley is not a big threat off the dribble, but he can make Curry work on defense, and he is shooting the ball well enough for Curry to commit with him on that side of the court.

Beverley is averaging nine points per game in eight appearances. However, he has made 50% of his field goals and a whopping 53% of his three-point field goals (4.2 attempts per game).

Curry is putting up great numbers so far. He is averaging 32 points, five rebounds, and six assists per game in the whole season. Even after enduring a shooting slump in the first few games, Curry has made 46% of his shots and 37% of his three-pointers.


#2 Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers) vs Draymond Green (Golden State Clippers)

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Clippers.
Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard's matchup with Draymond Green should be a standout one in the upcoming two-game series between these rivals of the Pacific Division.

Leonard is a tremendous presence on both ends of the floor. It remains to be seen if he will guard the Golden State Warriors' main attacking threat, while it can be said that Green will spend several minutes trying to control Leonard's offensive game.

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This is a matchup between two players who have competed for various years for the NBA Defensive-Player-of-the-Year award. Despite their differences in style of play and impact, Leonard and Green can be their team's best defenders, and both are good playmakers.

While Green has been known for being a good passer in previous years, Leonard is improving in that aspect. Leonard is averaging 6.5 assists per game (career-high) in the current season and only one turnover per game.


#3 Serge Ibaka (LA Clippers) vs James Wiseman (Golden State Warriors)

Golden State Warriors v Brooklyn Nets.
Golden State Warriors v Brooklyn Nets.

Even though Andrew Wiggins' matchup with Paul George could be a big one in the upcoming two games, George's presence for the LA Clippers in these matches has not been confirmed yet.

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The matchup that we are likely to see is a battle in the paint with James Wiseman on one side and Serge Ibaka on the other for these two games. While Ibaka is an established player and an NBA champion, the 7' 1'' rookie could be a difficult opponent for him to face.

In just 21 minutes per game in his seven starts with the Golden State Warriors, Wiseman has shown some of his tremendous abilities and athleticism. He is averaging 11 points and six rebounds per game and has made 46% of his field goals and 42% of his three-pointers (five of 12).

The 19-year-old center of the Golden State Warriors is having almost the same numbers as Ibaka. The LA Clippers' center is averaging 11.8 points and six rebounds per game in eight appearances.

Ibaka is a great rim protector and is averaging 1.2 blocks per game. On the other hand, Wiseman is averaging 1.7 blocks per night.

Wiseman should continue to improve, but facing Ibaka twice in three nights will be a tough task for him.


Also read: LA Clippers vs Golden State Warriors Prediction: Combined starting 5 featuring Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry

Published 06 Jan 2021, 22:33 IST
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