Key matchups for Monday’s meeting with the Warriors

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Austin Rivers
OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Austin Rivers /
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OAKLAND, CA – FEBRUARY 23: Austin Rivers
OAKLAND, CA – FEBRUARY 23: Austin Rivers /

On Monday, the defending champion Golden State Warriors come to town. Can the 4-1 LA Clippers upset the heavily favoured Dubs? We look at the key matchups that could go a long way to deciding the game.

The LA Clippers have lost their last 10 regular season games against the Warriors. The Warriors have had shaky start to the season, currently standing 6th in the Western Conference with a 4-2 record. Although the Warriors may not quite be in their best vein of form, it seems likely that a lot will have to go right for the Clippers to take the win tomorrow night. Working in the Clippers favour is the fact that the Warriors will be on the second night of a back-to-back and on the road. The Warriors will also have played five games in the previous seven nights including two tough matchups against the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards.

Patrick Beverley and Austin Rivers vs Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson

The ‘pick your poison’ Warriors are dangerous offensively from all over the floor, but their All-NBA level guard pairing are a major concern. Luckily, the Clippers are currently starting two elite defensive guards. Both Patrick Beverley and Austin Rivers have no issue with working hard all game to make life difficult for Curry and Thompson. They are both proficient pick-dodgers, and will have to be prepared to run around screens all night. If either Warriors guard gets free consistently on the perimeter, the Clippers will run into trouble.

Offensively, look for Rivers to try to break down the weaker guard defender in Curry off the dribble. At least within the starting unit, the Clippers do not have a versatile enough wing to try and switch Curry on to to create a mismatch. Nonetheless, I anticipate either Rivers or Beverley initiating a lot of pick and roll action involving Curry.