The Golden State Warriors successfully pulled off a first round sweep over the Portland Trailblazers and are moving on to the second round. Who’s the choice match up for Steph and the Warriors?
The Utah Jazz
are young, and lack playoff experience. Yet, they are one of the best defensive and three-point shooting teams in the league.
Gordon Hayward, George Hill, Joe Ingles, Rodney Hood, Joe Johnson. They might not be able to shoot more three-pointers than Golden State, but they’ll certainly hold their ground. Rudy Gobert vs JaVale McGee? The fight is already won, and Gobert isn’t taking no for an answer during his campaign for DPOY.
The Jazz are young, but they run deep. The Golden State Warriors Finals hopes will be crushed if they have to face Utah. It will be a Game 7 series, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the pressure will be on for Steph, Klay, and KD.
The Los Angeles Clippers
Deandre Jordan, Blake Griffin, and Chris Paul are a damn problem. However, Chris and Deandre alone are not. Without Blake Griffin, this Clippers team is defenseless against the imminent threat that is Kevin Durant. Through four games this season, Los Angeles is (0-4) against the Warriors and lose by an average of (21.5) points per competition.
It’s not all bad news for the Clippers, Chris Paul has recorded four straight double-doubles and averaging (26.8) points per game in the series with Utah. Deandre has also posted four straight double-doubles, and is averaging (13.3) rebounds in the series. They’re playing well, but losing 1/3 of your offense to a big toe injury never bodes well.
The Jazz and Clippers play Game 5 tonight, and the Warriors are rooting for LA. Should Utah fall apart, the Clippers will certainly be hyped for pulling through without Blake. The question is whether or not that hype is going to keep them positive through a 4-0 sweep in the Semi Finals.
The Warriors want no part in playing this Utah Jazz team, and would assuredly rather play a wounded Clippers squad. I’m not saying a Jazz-Warriors series would be easy for Utah, but they have the best shot at knocking these guys out of the playoffs.
All stats and information provided by ESPN and NBA.com.