Oct 31, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; NBA referee Mark Ayotte (56) and Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) separate center DeAndre Jordan (6) after he was fouled by Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut (far left) in the second quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
December 25th vs. Golden State Warriors
2013-14 Season Series: LAC 2 – 2 GSW
If last Christmas showed us anything, having our eyes pinned to Clippers x Warriors when it’s their turn to entertain us on a day of giving will be a must.
The Clippers defeating the Warriors in the opening round of the 2013 playoffs is only half of the fun. It’s plain and simple: like Memphis and LA, these two teams don’t like each other. It got to the point where the Warriors were blatantly baiting Blake Griffin in order to get him removed from a contest … AND IT WORKED.
The most important part of this rivalry? The guy who was missing during the playoffs in Andrew Bogut. Not only does he change the way the game is played for both teams in regards to strategy, but he’s one of the biggest agitators in the game. Last season, Bogut alone forced reactions from Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, and Matt Barnes–and by this point in the season he may have gotten to newcomer Spencer Hawes also; nothing can be pushed off the table at the point. It’s safe to say Bogut has surpassed DeMarcus Cousins level of Clippers’ agitation at this point.
But that’s what makes these games special. The hate. The combination of hate and talent. The combination of hate, talent and history. It may not be the biggest rivalry in the NBA right now, but it’s the most relevant one.
This won’t be these two teams first time facing off in the 2014-15 season, but it’ll be the one we care about the most.