By John Schuhmann, NBA.com
HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – No first-round series is more anticipated than the one that pits the Los Angeles Clippers against the Golden State Warriors.
It’s the league’s best offense against the Western Conference’s best defense. It’s Lob City vs. the Splash Brothers, Chris Paul vs. Stephen Curry, and Blake Griffin vs. a team that doesn’t like him very much.
These two teams split four explosive regular-season games, but the Warriors will be without Andrew Bogut to start the series. And that may be the difference.
Here are some statistical nuggets regarding the 3 and 6 seeds in the Western Conference, as well as the four regular-season games they played against each other.
Los Angeles Clippers (57-25)
Pace: 98.4 (7)
OffRtg: 109.4 (1)
DefRtg: 102.1 (7)
NetRtg: +7.3 (2)
- Had the two best offensive lineups among those that played at least 200 minutes, scoring 117.2 points per 100 possessions in 597 total minutes with Chris Paul, Matt Barnes, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan on the floor, with either Jamal Crawford or Darren Collison at the other guard.
- The Clippers ranked seventh in defensive efficiency overall, but 21st in games against teams that finished with winning records, allowing 107.0 points per 100 possessions in 43 games against the 16 teams that finished above .500. No team had a bigger defensive discrepancy between games against winning teams and games against losing teams.
- At the same time, the Clippers are the only team that was better offensively against teams with winning records than they were against teams with losing records.
- Griffin was assisted by Paul 227 times. That’s the highest of any teammate-to-teammate total, one more than Ricky Rubio to Kevin Love.
- Griffin led the league with 461 baskets in the restricted area.
Golden State Warriors (51-31)
Pace: 98.5 (6)
OffRtg: 105.3 (12)
DefRtg: 99.9 (3)
NetRtg: +5.4 (6)
- The Warriors were 17.0 points per 100 possessions better with Andre Iguodala on the floor (+13.7) than they were with him on the bench (-3.3). That was the biggest on-off-court differential in the league among players who logged at least 1,000 minutes for one team.
- Stephen Curry shot 31-for-31 on clutch-time free throws, the only player without a miss in at least 20 clutch-time free throw attempts.
- 28.4 percent of their opponents’ shots came from the restricted area, the lowest rate in the league. With Andrew Bogut on the floor, that number was 27.3 percent. With Jermaine O’Neal on the floor, it was 27.6 percent. With neither on the floor, it was 30.5 percent.
- Klay Thompson led the league with 0.48 points per touch.
- The Warriors’ starting lineup was a plus-19.2 per 100 possessions in 87 minutes against the Clippers. All other Golden State lineups were a minus-15.9 per 100 possessions in 105 minutes.
- Paul averaged 28.0 points per game against the Warriors, his highest average against Western Conference opponents. The Clippers were a plus-28 in 115 minutes with Paul on the floor against Golden State, and a minus-25 in 77 minutes with him on the bench.
- Curry shot 58.6 percent from 3-point range against the Clippers, his highest mark against Western Conference opponents.
- Warriors reserves shot 25-for-98 (26 percent) against the Clippers.
- Griffin shot just 11-for-29 when defended by David Lee.
- See more exclusive SportVU matchup data here.