Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors
Series Tied 1-1
7:30 PM PST – TNT – Oracle Arena
Line: Clippers -3
The Los Angeles Clippers head into Oakland tonight looking to steal home court advantage back from the Golden State Warriors. After dropping Game 1 to the Warriors in Los Angeles and destroying them in Game 2 by 40 points, the Clippers are now in a position to get home court advantage back and take control of the series. The question is will they be ready to play one of their best games of the season in front of one of the best crowds in the NBA?
In case you aren’t familiar with the crowds at Oracle Arena, you’ll get intimately familiar with them tonight. Golden State has some of the best, and most intense, fans in the NBA and they will be rocking “ROARacle” like never before. The Warriors and Clippers already don’t like each other and their is some bad blood between the two teams. The Golden State fans will be all over Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the rest of the Clippers tonight. Oracle Arena is probably the closest you’ll come to a “college environment” in the NBA along with Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. There is little doubt that the Warriors will feed off of their home crowd tonight and that it will be an incredibly hostile environment for the Clippers to have to play in.
All of this makes it more important that the Clippers get off to a hot start tonight in order to shut down the crowd before it gets going and starts influencing the game. Basically, the Clippers need to start the way the did in Game 2 and sustain that style of play throughout the entire game. The Clippers also need to pay even closer attention to Steph Curry. Curry is a playoff monster and, so far, has been shut down by the Clippers. That probably won’t be the case tonight in Oakland. If Curry gets going you can bet that the crowd is going to be sent into an absolute tizzy, which is the last thing the Clippers want tonight. Oh, and don’t let the other “Splash Brother” get going either.
The three keys to the game tonight for the Clippers are:
1. Contain the Splash Brothers
2. Start hot
3. Rebound, Rebound, Rebound
If the Clippers do all of these things then they will win the game tonight and take a lead in the series. However, if they let Steph Curry and Klay Thompson get going, it could be a long night for Los Angeles and the Warriors could be looking to take a 3-1 series lead at home later this week.
Prediction: Clippers 109 – Warriors 103
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