LA Clippers to face off with Golden State Warriors at brand-new Chase Center

LA Clippers Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Having played the final regular-season game ever at Oracle Arena, the LA Clippers will now play in the first-ever regular season at the Warriors’ new arena, the Chase Center.

After an impressive performance all around in the LA Clippers’ 112-102 season-opening win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the team now shifts their focus to their Pacific Division counterparts in the Golden State Warriors.

Just like the Clippers, the Warriors had some roster turnover as well. This year they will be without the likes of Kevin Durant (now with the Brooklyn Nets), Klay Thompson (recovering from torn ACL), Andre Iguodala (Memphis Grizzlies) and Shaun Livingston (retired) to name a few.

Though they did lose Durant, they did return up-and-coming guard D’Angelo Russell.

Russell was a first-time All-Star last season with the Nets, averaging 21.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. He isn’t a better shooter or defender than Thompson, but Russell requires a lot of attention when he has the ball in his hands.

The Warriors will also be playing their games in an all-new location this season. After playing their home games at Oracle Arena from 1971-2019, Golden State has moved from Oakland over to San Francisco and will begin hosting opponents at the all-new Chase Center.

The new arena can hold a maximum of 18,064 fans, and considering how loud things got at Oracle, the Clippers should expect to play in front of sell-out crowds during all their trips to the Bay Area.

The Clippers enter this game starting the season out 1-0.

Kawhi Leonard led all scorers during Tuesday’s contest with 30 points. Also chipping in was guard Lou Williams, who scored 21, and Montrezl Harrell, who added another 17.

The team shot an efficient 51 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. The Clippers’ bench outscored that of the Lakers, 60-19.

Here are three keys for the Clippers to be successful in their first game against this year’s Golden State squad.

1. Control the Boards

Leonard lives by the motto, “Board Man Gets Paid”, and that will be no different once these two teams step onto the hardwood.

The Clippers won the rebounding battle against the Lakers, 45-41, as Coach Doc Rivers emphasized pre-game that he believed whoever won that battle, would ultimately win the game.

The Warriors might be without the likes of newly acquired Willie Cauley-Stein, but the Clippers will need to crash the boards harder than the likes of Kevon Looney, Draymond Green and Marquese Chriss.

2. Goon Squad 2.0

When Williams and Harrell first arrived in Los Angeles in 2017, they proclaimed their bench unit name to be the Goon Squad, meaning a bunch of high-character, fun and energetic guys getting after it every night.

This season, the Goon Squad is much deeper. Maurice Harkless and JaMychal Green both contributed significantly last game as they played hard, made open shots and were tenacious defensively on Anthony Davis.

Though I do expect Green or Harkless to get the starting nod at the 4 slot against the Warriors, look out for the bench to get going once again. The Warriors are relatively thin behind Stephen Curry, Russell and Green this season.

3. Kawhi and Pat Bev

I say this time and time again, the vocal leader of this LA Clippers team is none other than Patrick Beverley. His energy is infectious to his teammates and gets them fired up every night.

Reggie Miller repeatedly mentioned during Tuesday’s telecast that Beverley reminds him of a smaller Kevin Garnett. That is definitely some high praise from one of the game’s greatest shooters.

Leonard will, of course, be a huge factor in this game. Without their best perimeter defender available tomorrow in Thompson, he will most likely be guarded by Glenn Robinson III or Green most of the night.

Expect to see more play-making from “The Terminator” as guys like Landry Shamet, Green and Beverley should have open looks from deep.

Next. Paul George expected to return in three weeks. dark

The LA Clippers and Golden State Warriors will tip-off tonight at 7:30 p.m. PDT. The game will be shown on TNT. Be sure to follow along with @ClipperholicsFS on Twitter for live updates and analysis!