Golden State Warriors v LA Clippers – NBA Betting Preview and Prediction
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here. The 2019/20 season of the NBA is back and with it another six months of exciting fixtures, featuring the crème de la crème of the basketball players. Thirty teams will enter the arena and only one will come out as the champion. Who that might be, remains a mystery, but every story has to start somewhere and for Golden State Warriors it will start this Friday at their brand new fortress, which goes by the name of Chase Center, where they will meet with LA Clippers.
The end of an era
It would be hard to really call it an “era”, seeing how GSW only managed to emerge as an NBA juggernaut in the last four years, with two titles and two runner-up finishes. However, it would be safe to say their dynasty came to an end in last season’s finals when GSW kneeled down to Toronto Raptors, who crushed GSW’s dreams of claiming their third consecutive NBA title, which would make GSW one of the four teams in the NBA history, who won the title more than twice in a row. And while we can talk about what would have happened if it had happened… the reality is that Golden State Warriors lost the finals 2-4.
Losing the NBA finals on its own is a wound that takes some time to heal, however, GSW saw a handful of salt added to it, with the departure of Durant to Brooklyn and the injury of Thompson, which will see him side-lined for at least half the season. There is even a possibility Thompson will not even play a single match this season, leaving a huge void in the GSW’s roster they need to fill if they want to remain competitive with the best in the West. The San Francisco Bay outfit brought in D’Angelo Russell to help with that, on top of signing Alec Burks, Marquese Chriss and Willie Cauley-Stein. That said, Cauley-Stein is still recovering from his foot injury, meaning he will not get to appear in Friday’s fixture. Other than that, GSW listed Alec Burks, Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss all as probable.
Clippers eyeing their first-ever NBA title
Los Angeles Clippers are one out of six teams that have never in the history of the franchise won the championship, nor have they even appeared in the grand finals, however, there is a feeling of optimism in Clipper’s camp this season. Not only are Clippers entering the 2019/20 season well prepared to compete with the best, but they are also seen by many as top contenders for the title, and they did not fail to confirm those claims with a dominant 112-102 win over Lakers on Wednesday.
Looking back at the cross-town derby, the two sides started off with a close 22-25 first quarter, which right off the bat suggested it will be an exciting fixture. And it did not fail to live up to the expectations. Lakers entered the second half with a negligible three-point lead, which they soon lost. In fact, they more than just lost it, seeing how they got completely crushed by Clippers, who outscored their LA brothers by 11 points (40-29), meaning the two sides ended the first half with the scoreboard showing 62-54 in favour of Clippers. Lakers responded in the third quarter with a solid performance (31-23), which was just enough to tie the match at 85-85, meaning it was all going to be decided in the last quarter. And it was, but not in the way Vogel and his men had hoped. Clippers picked up where they left off in the second quarter, took over the lead and never looked back. Throughout the 12 minutes, Clippers further added onto their lead, which at the final whistle amounted to 10 points (112-102). With a very strong performance in the last quarter, Clippers managed to come out of their opening NBA fixture with their first W and will look to make it two in a row this Friday.
The top scorer of the match was the newcomer, Kawhi Leonard, who scored 30, added six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Green scored 28 points for Lakers, to which he added seven rebounds and two steals, whereas Davis ended the match as the third-best scorer with 25 points, nine rebounds, five assists and one steal.
Verdict & Prediction
Clippers performed admirably well in their opening fixture of the season, and it’s safe to say they will do their best to keep up the tempo as they venture into game two. Paul George and Rodney McGruder will remain out for Clippers, meaning there are no new absences ahead of Clippers’ clash with GSW.
Calling out a winner here might be a bit trickier than it may seem. While GSW enter 2019/20 season much weaker, compared to how they looked like at the start of 2018/19 season, we still can’t underestimate the Warriors who have enough quality to remain competitive. With Durant out of the team, we expect GSW to switch up to a more up-tempo offense, which will saw all the attacking attempts run through Curry and on ball movement. The lack of shooters might be a slight concern here, but we believe, Friday’s fixture will have plenty of points on display and the visitors shouldn’t have any problems scoring here either, especially with a roster that can score from all positions on the court. Expect an exciting match where teams are bound to combine well over 220 points.
Prediction: Over 224.5
Odds: 1.81 Pinnacle