Clippers already eyeing potential matchup with Warriors

Clippers already eyeing potential matchup with Warriors
April 13, 2014, 11:45 am
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The Clippers and Warriors split their four regular season matchups, with the home team winning each contest. (AP)

Programming note: Warriors-Blazers coverage begins tonight at 5:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Territory restrictions apply) Channel locations

Though seven of the eight Western Conference playoff teams determined by Saturday night, the first-round matchups have yet to be determined.

But they're close enough that the Warriors are already on the minds of coach Doc Rivers and his Los Angeles Clippers, who are locked into the No. 3 seed.

[RELATED: Rewind: No celebration for playoff-bound Warriors]

Asked on Saturday if he and his staff have started preparing for the Warriors, Rivers admitted they have.

"We pretty much, in our opinion, felt like that's who we were going to play for the last week or two,'' he told in Los Angeles. "But I don't know how much more attention you can pay to a team than you already do anyway. It is nice. You're preparing and I'm sure they're preparing for us. It's not anything with the players. It's more the looks and the film stuff that you can start cutting and getting ready."

Warriors coach Mark Jackson said the other day that he and his staff, which has lost two assistants in the past three weeks, were studying possible opponents but would not specify the Clippers.

The Warriors own the No. 6 seed as they prepare to face the Trail Blazers, who hold the No. 5 seed, Sunday night in Portland. Though there is a slight chance the teams could swap positions, odds are they will not.

Which would leave the Warriors facing the Clippers in a matchup with high emotions and multiple storylines. A clear tension between the teams has developed over the past couple seasons, and there is no indication of it going away. There are Stephen Curry-Chris Paul, David Lee and Jackson-Rivers battles to be had.

This much was conceded on Saturday by Sacramento Kings coach Michael Malone – a two-year Warriors assistant under Jackson before this season – after his team lost to the Clippers.

"I don’t know if you guys know this, but Chris has a unique ability of getting under people’s skin. I don’t know if you guys know that about him," Malone with a twinkle in his eye. "It’s just a competitive series. My first two years there we were 5-3 against the Clippers, and this year it’s 2-2. Every game is hotly contested."