Apr 21, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) looks on from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers in game two during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Playoffs: Clippers-Warriors Game 3 Preview


With the series tied at one apiece, the scene has shifted to the Bay Area. The Los Angeles Clippers are coming off a 40-point beatdown of the Golden State Warriors, a game in which I’m not even sure was that close. Blake Griffin has been unstoppable, when he’s not in foul trouble. In Game 1, Griffin scored 16 points and grabbed three rebounds in just 19 minutes of play. In Game 2, he scored 35 points in just 30 minutes of play. Dominant.

The Warriors simply don’t have an answer for the MVP candidate, and that’s not going to change in Game 3. What could change, however, could be their energy and the resurgence of Steph Curry.

In the first two games, Curry has been pretty much a non-factor for the Warriors. Part of that could be attributed to Chris Paul’s clamping defense, but some could be pointed to the fact that Curry isn’t the same player on the road as he is at home. Though, there isn’t much statistical evidence that would back the latter up. He’s only shooting two percentage points higher at home and scoring one point more per game. Though, at home, he’s a plus-nine (at home) versus only a plus-five (on the road) while on the court for the Warriors. Still, it isn’t much of an anomaly to put much stock into.

Regardless, Golden State is in a great position to take the upper hand in this series. Los Angeles, on the other hand, is looking to regain homecourt in this series. Here is a Clippers-Warriors guide to Game 3:

WHAT DO THE WARRIORS DO ABOUT BLAKE GRIFFIN?

Will Mark Jackson make any schematic changes when if comes to defending Griffin? In two games, he’s averaging nearly one point per minute (46 points, 49 minutes). That can’t be good for your defense. Or will Jackson simply allow Griffin to get his and try and limit Chris Paul and the supporting cast? It’ll be interesting to see what changes, if any, he makes as the series shifts to Oracle.

WILL STEPH’S HUGE GAME 2 THIRD QUARTER WAKE HIM UP?

In Game 2, Curry dropped 20 points (on 8-of-11 shooting) in the third quarter alone. In the other seven quarters so far in this series, he’s scored a combined 18 points. But will his big third quarter ignite him for the rest of the series? The Warriors are hoping so. So far, the Clippers have done a great job of limiting the flamethrower. They’ve been physical with him, thrown multiple defenders at him and have made him look somewhat ordinary — which is usually the complete opposite of what Curry is. Whatever Los Angeles is doing defensively on him, it’s working.

HOME COOKING IS ALWAYS BETTER AT ORACLE 

Oracle Arena is usually a great sight to see on TV, so I can only imagine what it must be like in person. If homecourt advantage exists in the NBA, it begins at Oracle Arena. It’s been compared to a college atmosphere and has been proclaimed as one of the loudest arenas in the League. If Golden State is going to win this series, they’re going to win it with the help of their home cooks, and that has to begin with a Game 3 victory.

 

Tags: 2014 NBA Playoffs Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Clippers NBA