Pre-Game Jitters: How to Beat the Clippers

Don’t you know
You better run, run, run, run, run,
run, run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh I said, you better
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run,
run, run, run, run, run.  —
Tracy Chapman

This comes straight from the playbook of Don Nelson, who back in the day when we believed, stole a game from the formidable Chris Paul – David West – Tyson Chandler Hornets, in New Orleans, like this:

In the fourth quarter, Nellie sprung one of his patented defensive traps: he put Stephen Jackson on Chris Paul, and Andris Biedrins on David West, and denied the pick and roll.  Jackson was just too long for Paul to comfortably throw the over-the-top pass against. He turned Paul over more than once.  And Biedrins was too long for West to comfortably shoot over.  Nor could West bully Biedrins, nor could he get around him.

This should work even better for this Golden State Warriors team.  In the fourth quarter, shift Dorell Wright onto Chris Paul.  Wright is even longer than Stephen Jackson, and just as quick.  Put Biedrins (or Udoh, if he’s strong enough) on Blake Griffin.  And deny the entry.  Deny the lob.

This will force the Clippers to swing the ball to their wings, Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups.  Even Stephen Curry can stick with Billups. Butler will be a test for Monta Ellis, but one he can well handle for a quarter.

Or four minutes…. Because this plan will work best if Mark Jackson uses his best wing defender off the bench — Brandon Rush — for eight fourth quarter minutes against Butler. Four minutes subbing for Monta, four minutes subbing for Curry.

And leaving four minutes for two of the best closers in the NBA, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, to bring this game home.

This Warriors team can beat the Clippers.

Oh, and lest I forget…    Does this Warriors team have fresher, younger, and healthier legs than Chris Paul, Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups? Can Curry,  Ellis and Wright beat Paul, Butler and Billups up and down the court?

Yes they do, and yes they can.

RUN!  Leave Kwame on the bench and run, run, run, run, run.

The Warriors are +5 home dogs to the Clippers. [Edit: The line has moved to +5.5] Seriously? On Opening Day? In our house? Even though I know what’s going on, that line made me look twice. If you ever want to see a line that reflects millions of excited fans betting strictly on one side, this is it. The Hoops Nation is on fire for Lob City.

Regular readers know what’s coming next: I’m going to jump into the breach, and help the bookies balance their books. I don’t care if Stephen Curry isn’t playing, this line is just crazy talk. Haven’t these fools heard of Monta Ellis?

A case of Fat Tire on the Warriors.

And wishing everyone a happy hoops-filled holidays. Let’s Go Warriors!


14 Responses to Pre-Game Jitters: How to Beat the Clippers

  1. Just a heads-up: I won’t be able to recap until after the Lakers game, and in general I won’t be recapping the front end of back to backs (not to mention back to back to backs) this season. Not sure how it will work to recap multiple games, but I don’t see any other way to handle this compressed season and still work my night job. Hopefully, you guys can continue to pitch in and help fill in the spaces for me. Thanks everyone for carrying the discussion through this longest of offseasons, and really look forward to talking about some actual hoops…!

  2. Felt, good luck with your bet.

    To everyone, Merry Christmas!!

  3. Da Doo Run Run Run!

    Inspiration for tonight’s game (“Met him on a Sunday and my heart stood still”):

  4. Mr. Lacob is personally calling plays for this game and he guaranteed that his team will win at least the rebounding.

  5. How NOT to beat the Clippers — or anyone else:

    1) Have Monta Ellis play brilliantly except for his jump shot, which has been MIA since preseason and is a crucial part of his offense;

    2) Have Stephen Curry regress about a year and a half in his development, firing off-balance shots and throwing mindless passes (4 pts in 33 mins, plus 4 assists and 5 turnovers for an assist-to-turnover ratio of .8 for our PG);

    3) Have your small forward disappear; what’s his name again?

    4) Get great play from your front court — David Lee (21 pts, 12 boards in 35 mins against the Griffin beast) and, oh yeah, Andris Biedrins (10 pts, 8 boards in only 20 mins); unfortunately, that’s two guys out of five on the floor;

    5) Get a weak contribution from your bench, though encouragement comes from the new guy, Brandon Rush (12 pts, 3 boards, 2 blocks in 28 mins), and hey, Klay Thompson actually hit a 3-pointer. But can Ish Smith ever repeat his 7 pts in 5 mins stint?

    Unless this gets turned around quick, it’s going to be a long short season.

    • Curry was hurting, obviously. Ellis may be going through something as well–his grandmother died Sunday. A strong backcourt performance, the kind we’ve seen repeatedly, might have tipped the scales.

      • A sore ankle does not explain 5 TOs unless Curry’s brain is in his leg. Monta’s jumper has been missing for two weeks, well before the recent distractions. No question that if those two had played better it would have been a closer game, but I don’t see how the Ws win when the small forward (what’s his name again?) disappears and there’s such a talent gap between the two benches.

    • Or how about pulling a 180 on all points except No. 4? I’m v. interested to see if our new head coach can get consistent play from this team. If they play like last night in every game, it’s going to be a fun short season.

  6. Mr. Lacob ruled, GSW out rebounded the Clippers.

  7. (Chicago)
    Steinmetz, during a break, talked about his interview with Jackson. He asked if the focus on defense would detract from the Warriors running game. Not at all, Jackson replied. The defense can feed the running game, a theme we’ve heard on this blog before.

    Any chance Curry can be the next 49s quarterback?

  8. Kwame was +21 last night!

  9. One report says Curry will be out Wed.

  10. Pingback: A Tale of Two Games — Warriors vs Clippers and Bulls - Feltbot's Warriors Blog