2014 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Quarterfinals Game #5
#6 Golden State Warriors at #3 Los Angeles Clippers
Best of Seven Series Tied 2-2
Staples Center – Los Angeles, California
Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 10:35 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Los Angeles -6 1/2
Current Line: Los Angeles -7
Opening Total: 211
Current Total: 209
Opening Money Line: Clippers -290 / Warriors +240
Opening Money Line: Clippers -325 / Warriors +265
Earlier today NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling for life from any involvement in NBA games, practices, or league meetings. Sterling was also fined 2.5 million dollars and Silver urged the NBA’s board of directors to force Sterling to sell the team he has owned since 1981. This was all the result of some racist comments Sterling made to his girlfriend that the website TMZ published over the weekend.
While the Sterling situation will not go away any time soon, the team Sterling owns (for now) is locked in a tight playoff battle. The #3 seeded Clippers are tied 2-2 with the #6 seed Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference playoffs. Game Five is Tuesday night in Los Angeles. No one knows what will happen. There could be protesters outside the Staples Center. Golden State coach Mark Jackson has said he thinks the Clipper fans should boycott the game. No one knows how many fans will show up, and how they will react.
The Warriors won game one in LA 109-105. The Clippers would take game two 138-98 at home and then win game three 98-96 in Oakland. Sunday’s game four happened a day after the Sterling story first broke. There was some debate over whether the Clippers would even play the game or if they should have boycotted the game in protest. LA came out for the pregame shootaround with their warm-ups inside out so you couldn’t see the Clippers logo.
While the Clippers would play game four, it was clear from the start that LA was not in the game mentally. They had good reason to, obviously with such an emotional distraction. Golden State jumped out to a 39-24 lead at the end of the first quarter and would never look back in an 118-97 rout. Blowouts happen and no one can say for certain that the Clippers lost because of the Sterling scandal. However, there were signs LA had no interest in this game. Golden State played a smaller line-up for most of the game. Still the Warriors had 34 rebounds to the Clipper’s 32. That should not happen when the Clippers have Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in their line-up, two of the best rebounders in basketball. The Clippers also had 19 turnovers.
Let’s give credit to the Warriors, as they played a great game. Golden State guard Stephen Curry scored 33 points with 7 rebounds and 7 assists. He made 7 three pointers. Forward Andre Igoudala added 22 points with 9 assists and 4 rebounds. Golden State shot 55.4% from the field as a team. Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with 26 points off the bench. Griffin scored 21 points with 6 rebounds. Chris Paul scored 16 points with 6 assists and 5 rebounds.
Golden State is coached by Mark Jackson. The Warriors are 44-39-3 ATS this season and the total is 36-48-2 this season.
Golden State is outscoring teams 104-100 this season. The Warriors are #10 in scoring and #10 in points allowed. Golden State is shooting 46.2% from the field and 38% from 3 point range. The Warriors are #9 in field goal percentage and #4 in three point shooting. Golden State makes 75.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 43.6% from the field and 34.4% from 3 point range. The Warriors are #4 in field goal defense and #3 in three point defense. Golden State averages 45.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.3 per game. The Warriors are #5 in rebounding and #20 in rebounds allowed. Golden State averages 23.2 assists, 15.2 turnovers, 7.7 steals and 5.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.2 assists, 14.9 turnovers, 8 steals and 4.2 blocks per game.
Guard Stephen Curry averages 24 points, 8.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Guard Klay Thompson averages 18.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Forward David Lee averages 18.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. Lee played in the last 3 games of the season after missing the previous 7 games with a hamstring injury. Forward Harrison Barnes averages 9.5 points, 4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Forward Andre Iguodala averages 9.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Jermaine O’Neal, Jordan Crawford, Andrew Bogut, Marresse Speights and Draymond Green will also get some minutes. Bogut leads the team in rebounds at 10 per game and blocks at 1.8 per game. Bogut is out for this series with a rib injury. O’Neal will replace him in the starting line-up. Center Festus Ezeli is out indefinitely with a knee injury and has missed the entire season. Guard Nemanja Nedovic is out indefinitely with a calf injury.
Los Angeles is coached by Doc Rivers. The Clippers are 47-38-1 ATS this season and the total is 47-38-1 this season.
LA is outscoring teams 108-101. The Clippers lead the league in scoring and are #14 in points allowed. Los Angeles is shooting 47.4% from the field and 35.2% from 3 point range. The Clippers are #3 in field goal percentage and #22 in three point shooting. LA is #26 in free throw shooting at 73% from the field. Opponents are shooting 44.1% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. The Clippers lead the league in 3 point defense and are #5 in opponents’ field goal percentage. Los Angeles averages 43 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.7 per game. LA is #25 in rebounds allowed. The Clippers average 24.6 assists, 13.9 turnovers, 8.6 steals and 4.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 23.3 assists, 15.4 turnovers, 7 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Griffin averages 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Point guard Chris Paul averages 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 10.7 assists, and 2.5 steals per game. Paul leads the league in assists and steals. He is nursing a sore hamstring, but is listed as probable. Guard Jamal Crawford averages 18.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He is probable with a calf injury. Guard J.J. Redick averages 15.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Guard Darren Collison averages 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Center DeAndre Jordan averages 10.4 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. Jordan leads the league in rebounding and is third in blocks per game. Forward Matt Barnes averages 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. He is probable with a toe injury. Danny Granger, Jared Dudley, and Willie Green will also get significant minutes. Granger has played in all three games against the Warriors, his first action since injuring his hamstring March 27.
Golden State is 14-2 ATS in first round playoff games, 7-1 overall and against Western Conference teams, 5-1 after a cover, against teams with winning records, against Pacific Division teams, and one one day rest, 12-3-1 in Tuesday games, 4-1 in road games, after the opponent allows 100 points in the previous game, and after scoring 100 points or more, and 3-9-1 after a straight up win of 10 points or more. The over is 10-3 in the last 13 games in this series, including 6-1 in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is 4-0 ATS after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, and one one day rest, 19-7 after a straight up loss, 7-3 after allowing 100 points or more, 8-22 in Tuesday games, 1-4 overall and against Western Conference teams, 1-6 against teams with winning records, and 1-8 in first round playoff games. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six games in this series. The Clippers are 4-1 ATS against the Warriors in the last 5 games at Staples Center.
The Clippers are the better team, but as mentioned no one knows how they will react mentally to all that is going on around them. LA area sportswriter Bill Plaschke said on ESPN’s Around the Horn thatit wouldn’t surprise him if the Clippers won by 20 or lost by 30. Sterling might have been banned for life, but he still owns the Clippers. His presence will certainly be felt even if he isn’t in the arena tonight. I don’t trust either side, but I like the game to go over the total.