Warriors beat up Clippers in Chase Center for their fourth straight win
DO YOU BELIEVE YET?!
The Golden State Warriors knocked off the on-paper superteam Los Angeles Clippers last night in Chase Center, 115-91. This counts as one of the more stunning victories for the Dubs in a season marred by bizarre losses.
The Clippers boast a three-headed monster of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook. The Dubs were missing Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins and feeding two-way contract players Anthony Lamb and Ty Jerome 20+ minutes each. L.A. led by as many as 12-points in this contest and early in the third quarter seemed firmly in control.
And yet the shorthanded Warriors outscored them 70-35 in the second half, including a 42-16 third quarter carpetbombing that broke the veteran Clippers’ collective will.
Sometimes watching the Golden State Warriors reminds me of the younger me back in high school. Back in the day when I was a whippersnapper hoisting my backpack over my shoulder and taking a bus from Oakland into Marin for schoolin’, I always had this nagging feeling that I wasn’t taking the grind seriously enough.
Sure, I was a smart enough kid who excelled in the stuff that came naturally to me, like writing or theater or freestyle rap battling in the back of the bus. But my wandering brain didn’t keep up too well with the mind-numbingly boring Art History and Algebra II classes that came across my path. No offense to any of you geniuses out there who really enjoyed those learning experiences; they just weren’t my cup of tea.
Ah, my old nemesis Algebra II. I vividly remember my junior year where I was flunking out of that class at lightspeed, more intimidated by the pain of doing the homework than the shame of not knowing what the hell was going in in class.
At a certain point late in the school year, my student advisor came to me and somberly informed me that I was struggling so bad in Algebra II that it could negatively affect my college prospects.
I instantly began to panic; the sudden realization sinking into my brain that my lack of mathing would ruin my future. As my anxiety skyrocketed in my advisor’s office I started rocking back and forth in the chair wondering how to tell my parents that their first child was going to be a deadbeat, all because I refused to figure out polynomials.
Weakly I looked up at my advisor, a guy I really respected and who had helped me manage many a rough day on campus. I squinted through the fear and whispered, “Dude, even if I pass this class, what am I gonna do when an even HARDER math shows up?”.
I had this terrible vision of me trying to do something adults do, like idk, sign up for a bank loan or buy a house or something, and then right before the deal is done they slide across a trigonometry quiz to prove I’m truly worthy of taking on the responsibility. I’D BE RUINED!
Suddenly, a wry smile creeped across the corner of my advisor’s lips. “Uh, Daniel?" he carefully started. “You know after Algebra II, you’ve fulfilled your quota for necessary math classes for high school, right? And then after that, you probably won’t have to take too much math in college, if any. You can choose what you want to learn down the road”.
I paused. Was this guardian angel of mine telling me that I wouldn’t have to live my life in fear, being trapped in classes that I hated for eternity as math gatekept me from my dream of living like Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? All I had to do was clear this hurdle and then I could do what I REALLY wanted to do, whatever the heck that was?
(Funny enough I’m not exactly sure what the mental block was; I ended up retaking the class over the summer and doing well. In college I actually got an A in the lone math class I was forced to take to move on to the fun art classes. I’m gonna chalk that one up to spending too much time on AOL Instant Messenger trying to sound cool messaging girls at 11pm).
Now that I’m an award winning journalist and loyal scribe to the Golden Empire, I look back on that high school daze with deep compassion and amusement. 16 year old Dan was terrified of the future because his procrastination and still developing emotional maturity was being put to the test.
But once I had perspective to know that that class was only a temporary hurdle that once cleared could allow me to spread my wings and be the best Dan I could be, I was empowered to do the work and create the future I wanted. And hey, whaddya know, everything turned out pretty okay!
In the same way, I look at these Warriors. They’ve had a season so excruciating for the fan base that I’ve seen loyal Dub Nation members throw in the towel on a damn near weekly basis as the team stumbled from one maddening loss to another. The Dubs are currently 7-23 on the road with two All-Stars injured. I’m going to channel my old advisor’s voice here when I say that playing like trash can absolutely negatively affect Golden State’s championship prospects.
I feel it man. Sometimes high stress levels from unmet expectations can drive even the most loyal and happy-go-lucky person to the brink of insanity. But if we for a minute forgive the Dubs for spending the last few months playing inconsistent, discombobulated basketball, we can keep our attention focused on the present where there’s actually been some very encouraging signs recently.
Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson are a PROBLEM
I know JP has gotten a lot of flack for being a turnover machine this season, and both he and Klay have at times put Dub Nation into a choking fit with suspect shot selection. But these guys are going to be absolutely integral to the Warriors repeating as champs, especially as they help carry the team in Curry and Wiggins’ absences.
Poole led the Dubs with 34 points last night, going 9-of-20 from the field, 5-of-12 from deep and adding a sturdy 11-of-12 shooting from the free throw line. He looked far and away the best offensive player on the floor, playing with a swagger and confidence that had the Clippers shaking their heads in dismay. A TEAM WITH KAWHI LEONARD AND PAUL GEORGE.
Look at that shot profile from young JP; looking solid both inside and outside like a reversible jacket.
But it was Klay that really caught my eye last night. His 19 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals were impactful as he competed against three All-Stars who have intersected throughout his career. Don’t forget that Klay and Kawhi were both drafted in 2011; and it was Kawhi’s Raptors that injured Klay in the 2019 NBA Finals and derailed his career for multiple years.
Paul George and Klay have been contemporary elites at the wing position throughout their careers, featured in many a online debate about which swingman is superior. All I can say is PG was the one Klay hit up for 60 points on 11 dribbles...in three quarters.
And Russell Westbrook has been fierce competition for Klay going back to Russ’ OKC days when Klay was tasked as the primary defender on the explosive guard. Of course it was Klay who ripped that OKC squad’s heart out in the playoffs and effectively ruined their franchise for good.
So it was pretty cool to see Klay out play all three of those guys last night, more evidence that a guy we once wondered would ever play is reasserting himself as a major factor in the league.
IS THE DEFENSE BACK?!
Golden State’s dynasty may have revolutionized the game with deadly long-range shooting, but it’s been their stingy defense that truly put the league on lock. This season they’ve been pretty mediocre (or downright terrible depending on who you ask) on that end.
But recently they’ve shown some signs of life, including last night’s win where they held the Clippers to 91 points. That’s the lowest points the Dubs have allowed this season; they shackled the Clips to 32-of-89 (36%) shooting from the field (21% from 3PT range).
Kawhi scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting but never got a chance to put his stamp on the game as the Warriors swarmed to ge the ball out of his hands. PG13 scored 11 points on 3-of-15 (!) shooting from the field. And Westbrook scuffled to 8 points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field. WELCOME TO ALCATRAZ FELLAS!
Draymond Green almost messed around and had a triple-double last night with 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists, but it was his brazen defensive strategy on Westbrook that caught the highlights.
Don’t look now, but over the past five games the Dubs are third in defensive rating. HMMMMMM.
Ruh roh, last year’s #7 overall pick Jonathan Kuminga appears to be learning Warriors basketball at an extremely quick rate folks. He scored 19 points on 7of-12 shooting last night, knocking down 3-of-4 of his attempts from beyond the arc. He also added 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and a thunderous block.
Coach Steve Kerr said last night was one of the best games Kuminga has played in his young career. What we’re seeing is a supreme athlete learning the shooting touch, basketball IQ, and positioning required to thrive in Golden State’s ecosystem. That’s…terrifying for the NBA.
Wellp, the Warriors are 26-7 at home and gelling despite the absence of their two best player from the NBA Finals last June. Things may look dreary sometimes during the long slog of the regular season, but one thing we know about these Dubs is that they definitely know
Algebra II how to show up for big games and compete at an extremely high level, no matter who is on the court.
Relax, let’s not stress until we REALLY have to. Unless you want to of course, we take all kinds here at DNHQ. By the way we’re only one game behind the Suns for the fourth spot out West…wouldn’t it be crazy if a healthy Dubs squad faced Kevin Durant’s Suns in the first round? Hmmmmmmmmm.
Post game thread: https://dubnationhq.com/p/post-game-comeback-warriors-overcome?sd=pf
Take only photos, leave only footprints of frantically fleeing mountain lions
Denver has beaten Memphis. I know that doesn't affect the Ws; I just love it when the big mouths get shut.