Warriors vs Clippers: Who’s the Better Team?

I know, many will argue that the Cavs are the best team in the NBA and that could be true, but the Clippers and Warriors have impressed me the most so far this year. Plus, the Cavs will make the finals regardless, so we might as well find out which of these two teams is more likely to meet them. The Warriors are 10-2 and the Clippers are 11-2, with both putting on some monster performances. At this rate it’s likely that these teams are the best in the West and destined for a playoff match-up. I’ll break down each position versus each other, overall team play, and my general opinion and predictions. Here we go.     Point Guard: Steph Curry vs Chris Paul                                                                                                                                    These may be the two best point guards in the league (depending on your feelings for Russell Westbrook), so guard duel would be vital come playoff time. These two have already battled each other back in the 2014 Playoffs, where CP3’s experience outlasted Curry and the Dubs, but over the last 2 years, Curry has put CP3 on his highlight reel repeatedly while destroying him with sweet moves and pulling off multiple 20 point comebacks. As far as they’ve performed this year, Curry is still a better scorer, but Paul has a slight edge in passing and a big edge in defense, as he leads the league in steals with 3.08 steals per game, a staggering amount. Another major stat is real plus-minus, as both of these two are near the top in the category with Paul at 1st in the league 9.92 and Curry at 6th with 5.96. Of course, Paul’s numbers will be skewed upwards due to the Clippers blowing out so many teams as of late. Overall, these two are both incredibly talented and could possibly cancel each other out with equally monster performances. But Curry is more deadly offensively and has owned Paul as of late, so I’ll give him the edge for now.          Slight Edge: Warriors                      Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson vs J.J Redick                                  This pits two of the league’s deadliest sharpshooters against each other as both had made their names in the NBA with their silky, smooth jump shots. Klay has been a topic of discussion so far as he has gotten of to a really bad start despite the Warriors’ success. Meanwhile, J.J. has been doing typical J.J. things and is still knocking down a ton of 3s in order to help the Clips. In overall perspective though, Klay is the better player as he is a two time all star and all-nba team member while J.J. has never approached any awards like that. However, Redick is currently soaring high above Thompson in terms of real plus-minus, as that stat once again benefits the Clippers. And while it is true that Thompson is a better defender (he is better than most other defenders as well), J.J. is a consistently underrated defender as his pesky attitude and effort can give opponents’ fits. In the end, I have to give this to Klay, as I think his shooting will have to improve considering how good of a player I know him to be.                                                                                                                             Slight Edge: Warriors                     Small Forward: Kevin Durant vs Luc Mbah a Moute                            This one is hysterically one sided. I’ll try to help Mbah a Moute out by saying that he does fit what the Clippers are running. He doesn’t get mad when they don’t pass it to him, he plays good defense, and he makes a couple of threes now and then. But he’s no match for former MVP Kevin Durant, who’s off to a good start this season averaging 27.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg, and 4.1 apg, while playing improved defense as well. It’s clear to see that the Durantula could bring huge problems for Lob City.                                                                                Major Edge: Warriors                     Power Forward: Draymond Green vs Blake Griffin                              These are two of the more versatile 4s in the league. Draymond has completely revolutionized the position by being the Super Warriors’ key to small-ball. Blake has learned to stretch the floor as well, but he still heavily relies on posting up and using his freakish athleticism to overpower opponents and then thunder down dunks on helpless defenders. I know that in the past I’ve bashed on Blake and I didn’t even think he would be an all-star this year. But so far, Blake has impressed me this season, not with his offense, but with his vastly improved defensive play. He’s using his athletic gifts to their full potential in order to terrify opponents. For Draymond, his scoring numbers may be down but he’s had a good start as well as he is truly the glue that keeps this Warriors team together. His ability to facilitate the ball from his position is something that is truly unique to him, and he is still a top 5 defender with excellent basketball I.Q. and his ability to guard virtually any player.These two may not even guard each other come playoff time due to the great size difference, but in terms of advantage for the teams, I believe Blake will have an edge due to just being so much bigger and athletic than the players the Warriors try to defend him with.                                                                                                                    Slight Edge: Clippers                       Center: ZaZa Pachulia vs DeAndre Jordan                                               While not as bad as the small forward match-up, there is still a clear advantage here for one team. DeAndre is playing well and using his great size and explosiveness to block and rebound at will. And furthermore, he can’t even be stopped with hacking strategies now due to the recent rule changes. ZaZa is ok, but his lack of athleticism has shown so far as he’s struggled to rebound against lesser centers than DeAndre. The Clippers will need DeAndre to dominate to his full capability as he will have mismatches all game.                                                                                                                                                                Big Edge: Clippers                                                                                                                                             Bench: Iggy, Livingston, McGee, McCaw, West, Clark, etc. vs Rivers, Speights, Crawford, Felton, Johnson, Pierce, etc.               Last year, this one wouldn’t even have been close. The Warriors had guys with growing fandom and popularity on their bench, while the Clips’ bench has always been regarded as the reason for their post-season disappointments. But this year, the Warriors bench has let them down somewhat, while the bench for LAC has improved with some new acquisitions. One of these newcomers was a former Warriors super bench player himself, the legendary Mo Buckets. I won’t go into much detail with Mo, but he’s really fun and shooting really well. Another new piece is Raymond Felton, who has performed well as CP3’s back-up and takes the load off for generally poor decision makers in Rivers and Crawford. But while those two do struggle to run plays, they are two of the best one on one bench scorers in the league. For the Warriors, they have had to adjust to a multitude of changes and new, inexperienced players. Iggy and Livingston are still around, but both are slightly down in their numbers from last year. Meanwhile, a big positive have been the two young guards of Ian Clark and Patrick McCaw, who have been reliable, and in Clark’s case, dynamic at times. The problem with the Dub’s bench is the same problem they have with their starters, their bigs are big liabilities. McGee, Varejao, and West have all been to slow, too weak, and (in Javale McGee’s case) too lacking in intelligence. So overall, I have to give the Clippers’ bench the edge as they do not have any glaring wholes like the Warriors.                            Edge: Clippers                                                  Coaching: Steve Kerr vs Doc Rivers                                                                                                                            This one is tough for me, because I have never been a coach and I don’t truly know how these guys run their teams. What I can tell is from eye test and past successions. Both coaches are regarded well across the league and both have won championships. However, Doc has never been praised for his play calling, rather his great ability to motivate players. And Steve Kerr, well he’s only completely revolutionized the NBA by utilizing smaller, quicker players to shoot 3s and wreak havoc, and then to also increase the value of his role players by using his stars’ gravity to set up for the lesser talented bunch. So I have to give this one to Kerr, as all he’s done in his first two years is change basketball, break records, and win games.              Edge: Warriors                                                                                                         Conclusion: It’s obvious that both these two teams are very talented and can compete with anybody. And they do this by being very different teams: one that relies on 3 point shooting, crazy runs, and unselfish passing, and one that relies on banging inside, using freakish athleticism, and pounding teams with suppressing defense. Overall, I’d have to give it to the Warriors right now as they are simply to explosive and have too much potential. But the Clippers are up there too, and they have certainly closed the gap quite a bit.                         Winner: Warriors        

    All stats and  info from espn.com – link –        http://www.espn.com/nba/statistics