Clippers vs. Warriors Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Keep up to date NBA odds here.|
It looked like things were definitely going in the right direction for the Clippers with three straight wins, but injuries once again threw cold water on an otherwise great story.
With the Clippers’ depth put to the test here on Wednesday, is there a way to face the Golden State Warriors? Is Golden State more trustworthy? Let’s get to the bottom of it.
The Clippers are perpetually shorthanded
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Kawhi Leonard is hurt. The two-time Finals MVP rolled his ankle late in Los Angeles’ win over the Utah Jazz on Monday, and although he told reporters he would be fine, he actually isn’t. .
Leonard will miss this one with a sprained ankle and Paul George, who is out with a hamstring injury, and Luke Kennard will join him on the bench. Now you understand why a fragile Warriors team is almost a double-digit favorite.
Leonard’s loss is quite significant. The Clippers own the third-worst offense in the NBA, producing 107.4 points per 100 possessions. With Leonard on the ground this season, that number is 114.2. LA also has a net rating of 4.3 with George on the floor this year and a -5.9 without him.
I know you, the reader, know the Clippers are a worse team without Leonard and George, but the difference is truly staggering. Throwing Kennard into the mix makes this even tougher.
The bad news here is that the Clippers, who were already struggling to shoot the three balls, ranked 14th, will really struggle to convert deep without those three. The good news is that while they’ve struggled to bounce back this season, the Warriors are ranked in the NBA’s bottom three in this category, giving LA at least an edge.
Warriors are always inconsistent
Just a few days ago, the Warriors were in the same situation with injuries. They rested almost their entire starting lineup in a blistering loss to the Pelicans. Now, there is only one name left on the injury report ahead of Wednesday’s game, and that’s Andre Iguodala.
Now, the Death Star isn’t pointed at Earth and the fate of the universe isn’t at stake, so we can just ignore that absence. Instead, let’s talk about how the Warriors, who have one of the worst defenses in the NBA, are going to cover a 10-point gap against the Clippers.
Only twice in the past six games have the Warriors held opponents within 117 points per 100 possessions, and those two teams were the New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs. That’s not really saying much. The problem? Get a helping hand to contest shots.
Golden State’s numbers against disputed looks are, at worst, league average. He is, however, ranked eighth in the worst contested shots per game from inside 10 feet, leading to one of the worst defensive field goal percentages in that area. It continues to get worse when you look inside six feet as well.
The problem? The Clippers rank third in field goal percentage from inside 10 feet at 61.3%. They opted to shoot just over 3 seconds this season despite fleeting success, but without three of their best shooters, it would behoove them to attack that very weak Warriors frontcourt.
While I’m not usually a big fan of this Clippers team without the help of their top two players, and without Kennard, I struggle to score 10 points with a team that’s always outgunned on the inside. The Clippers should work the boards here and convert looks near the basket, keeping this one close.
If I was asked to put 6.5 with the Warriors, I think I would rethink that. The Clippers can keep it in single digits.
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