The Golden State Warriors blew the largest lead in a playoff game in NBA history last night against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors largest lead was 31 points AT HOME against the 8th seeded starless Clippers. The Clippers best player is on their bench, Lou Williams. Lou had 36 points to go along with 11 assists on the night. Now, this game could just be the Warriors being bored and cocky, but I believe it showed us 3 things. One is that the Clippers are the better choice for a star that wants his own team because of the supporting cast and coach they have. This game and series have shown me that Kawhi Leonard’s obvious choice for this upcoming offseason is the Clippers. Also, the second thing this showed me is the Warriors are the only team that can beat the Warriors. They turned the ball over 22 times last night in Oracle which is absurd. They get up big in games and become too cocky which allows their opponent to get back into the game and build momentum. This could haunt them in future games, or series if they aren’t more careful with the basketball. The last thing that this game showed me is how Kevin Durant isn’t built to be the face of the league, and neither is Steph to be honest. After the game, where KD had more turnovers (9) than field goals ATTEMPTED (8) and fouled out, Durant didn’t even attend post game press conferences. Steph, who in the first half called himself, “a bad boy”, went on to pick up his fourth foul in the beginning of the 3rd quarter and not sub back in until the 4th quarter. Steph did finish with 38 points, but made only 5 shots in the second half.
One huge loss from this matchup was Demarcus Cousins going down with an injury just a few minutes into this game with what sounds like a season ending quad tear. This injury is horrible news for Cousins who was on a 1 year prove it deal with Golden State, and now will most likely have to sign another prove it deal this upcoming off season. This injury does leave a hole in Golden State’s lineup, but they do play much better defensively with Cousins off the floor than on the floor. The only reason I believe this loss really hurts the Warriors is for the next round matchup against possibly the Houston Rockets. Earlier this year, the Rockets beat the Warriors at Oracle with a 3 by James Harden in overtime to seal the game. Then in another matchup, the Warriors came out on top after Demarcus Cousins showed how dangerous he can be with 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. During that game, Cousins dominated the Rockets center Clint Capela. The loss of Cousins will be noticed the rest of the playoffs against teams with a dominant center.
Overall, I believe the Warriors will be fine in this series, but they must win both in Los Angeles. The last thing the Warriors want to do is head back to Golden State with a 2-2 series tie and risk taking this series to a game 7. This series and the loss of Cousins really only will play a role in the rest of the playoffs to see if teams can wear the Warriors down enough until they break. I think the Warriors will win this in 5 or 6 games, but they could struggle against the Rockets if the handle the Utah Jazz. The takeaway from this game is that the Warriors will win this series, but it will take a toll on them. Also, Kawhi should join the Clippers this summer instead of the Lakers just based on a basketball standpoint which is all that seems to matter to Kawhi. Lastly, Kevin Durant must step up and stop letting Patrick Beverley get under his skin. KD is an elite scorer who is getting exposed for his average passing ability. Another thins is that Klay Thompson will have to pick it up with KD getting so much attention. Steph played well the first two games and must continue to stay hot this series. The Warriors will be fine in this series, but the champ is wounded.