Mark Jackson brought his Golden State Warriors to town and took the opener of the best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series from the host Clippers on Saturday.
The teams square off in Game 2 Monday night at Staples Center, and Warriors coach Mark Jackson knows there is still plenty of basketball to play, even if his team has taken homecourt advantage away from the Clippers.
“We understand it’s a best of seven,” Jackson said at practice Sunday. “We’re playing against an outstanding basketball team who presents a lot of challenges. It’s far from over.”
There has been lots of talk about that play with 18.9 seconds left to play in Saturday’s playoff opener between the visiting Golden State Warriors and the Clippers at Staples Center.
Chris Paul had the ball for the Clippers and was trying to get around a corner so he could drive to the basket. Draymond Green came over and fouled Paul, who lost the ball out of bounds. The only problem is, the foul wasn’t called. There was a review of the play, but not for the purposes of whether a foul had been committed as that is not reviewable. It was to see who touched the ball last and it was Paul, the ball being award to the Warriors, who were up by two points on their way to a 109-105 victory.
The NBA on Sunday issued a statement that said while officials properly reviewed what was reviewable, Paul was indeed fouled and he should have been awarded two free throws.
Stephen Curry, one of the Warriors’ two 3-point-shooting guards, reacted to the NBA’s statement at practice Sunday at UCLA.
“The ref was standing there and he made a judgement call,” Curry said of the non-call on the foul by Green. “The replay was in our favor. Refereeing, there’s nothing perfect about that. They make mistakes every once in a while and I’m sure during the course of the game, they could go back and admit they were bad calls. That was just a crucial moment in the game. I don’t like it myself. It takes away what we did as a team by mulling what could’ve happened.”
Rod Thorn, president of basketball operations for the NBA, issued a statement Sunday saying replays showed that Golden State’s Draymond Green did foul the Clippers’ Chris Paul with 18.9 seconds left to play in the Warriors’ 109-105 victory over the Clippers on Saturday in the opener of their Western Conference playoff series at Staples Center.
Unfortunately for the Clippers, it was not called and that part of the play was not reviewable. When officials reviewed the sequence, they were only looking for one thing – who touched the ball last before it went out of bounds? That was Paul, and the ball was awarded to Golden State.
“After reviewing postgame video, we have concluded that the instant replay review of the out-of-bounds call with 18.9 seconds remaining in the game involving the Clippers’ Chris Paul and the Warriors’ Draymond Green was administered correctly by the referees and the correct decision was made in awarding the ball to the Warriors,” Thorn’s statement read. “Under the existing rule, referees may only use instant replay to determine which player caused the ball to go out and a limited set of other reviewable matters (see summary of rule here: http://t.co/IQ2qM6BOjb). Just prior to the ball going out-of-bounds, Paul was fouled by Green and Paul should have been granted two free throws. Contact preceding out-of-bounds calls is not a reviewable matter.”
The Clippers were down 107-105 at the time.
With all the talk about Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and their 3-point efficiency ahead of Saturday’s Western Conference playoff opener, the two didn’t even have real good games in their 109-105 victory over the Clippers.
Curry scored 14 points on 6 of 16 shooting and Thompson had 22 points on 7 of 20 from the field.
Power forward David Lee, however, perhaps was his team’s best player. He scored 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting and pulled down 13 rebounds.
“Well, I got off to (a bit) of a slow start really because of getting hurt last year, this is really my first playoff game tonight,” Lee said post-game. “So I got off to a bit of a slow start and once again, just like our team, I just tried to be resilient and the guys told me to keep being aggressive. The second half, found a better rhythm and when the shot-blockers came, I thought we did a pretty good job with interior passing and getting a lot of easy buckets in the paint through that.”
The Warriors had 48 points in the paint, the Clippers 42. Golden State absolutely did have some nifty passing in the paint that led to easy layups.
Blake Griffin played only 19 minutes and 14 seconds in the Clippers’ 109-105 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Saturday’s opener of their first-round Western Conference playoff series at Staples Center.
Griffin scored 16 points and grabbed three rebounds – well below his season averages – and his defense in the paint was missed, to be sure. That has to change, guard J.J. Redick said.
“I mean, he’s one of the best players in the NBA, so that was huge for us to not have him over half the game, really,” said Redick, who had a fine game with 22 points on 8 of 11 shooting. “We need him to stay on the court, we need him to play 40 minutes and be involved. He’s made such progress on both sides of the basketball, he’s such an important piece of what we do.”
Coach Doc Rivers on Friday was talking about the emotional part of his team’s Western Conference first-round playoff series against Golden State, which begins Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Staples Center.
There is no love lost between the teams, and Rivers was discussing how he wants his players to handle it.
“The key is to have emotion, but not get emotional,” Rivers said. “You have to be emotional to do anything worthwhile, to me.”
Rivers doesn’t want his team to change that.
“I think we are a team that plays with emotion and I think we should continue to do that,” he said. “But obviously, for both teams, there’s a line that you don’t want to cross.”
Like just about everyone either playing in this series, coaching it or reporting on it, Clippers guard J.J. Redick is of the same mind – the Clippers must find a way to at least slow down the Golden State Warriors’ incredible shooting duo of guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Curry and Thompson ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the league in made 3-pointers during the regular season with 261 and 223, respectively. And they shoot them at a high percentage – Curry at 42.4 percent, Thompson at 41.7.
“Klay obviously presents a lot of challenges, so does Steph,” Redick said. “We have to be really good individually and with our team defense.”
Game One is Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Staples Center.
Forward Matt Barnes – known as somewhat of a bad boy in the NBA – told reporters at practice Friday that he longed for the days when the game was more physical and players could get away with being that way more than they can today..
This was the result of Barnes on Thursday watching ESPN’s “Bad Boys” on 30 for 30, a documentary centering on the rough Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their reputation for hard-nosed, dirty play earned them that moniker.
Barnes was asked what would happen if he was fouling that way in this day and age.
“If I did some of those fouls they had last night that I saw, I’d probably have to find a new job,” Barnes said. “Take my kids out of private school, cut my wife’s allowance.”
Reporters were laughing out-loud.
As of now the Golden State Warriors are saying that center Andrew Bogut will not play against the Clippers when the first-round Western Conference playoff series opens Saturday afternoon at Staples Center, and because he has a fractured rib he could miss the entire series.
Although Bogut could materialize at some point if for no other reason than he’s apparently tough and this is the postseason, it will be interesting to see if the Clippers can take advantage of his absence for the time being.
“He’s the anchor of their defense,” Clippers forward Matt Barnes said. “Tremendous rebounder, help-side defender, blocks shots, and it’s going to help us. But they have J.O. (back center Jermaine O’Neal) and (forward) Draymond Green – they’ll probably play small – so that poses other problems, too.”
Bogut, who is 7-foot and 245 pounds, leads the Warriors in rebounding with a 10.0 average. He also averages 1.8 blocks and 7.3 points.
The Clippers and Golden State Warriors will square off in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, with the first two games at Staples Center.
The series begins Saturday with a game at 12:30 p.m. Game 2 is set for Monday at 7:30 p.m.
The series then shifts to Oracle Arena in Oakland. Game 3 is April 24 (a week from Thursday) at 7:30 p.m. with game 4 also there a week from Sunday, April 27, at 12:30 p.m.
The rest falls under the “if necessary” category. Game 5 is scheduled for April 29 (time TBD) at Staples Center, No. 6 is May 1 at Golden State (time TBD) with No. 7 – the series finale – on May 3 at Staples Center. Again, time is TBD.