With Warriors-Clippers, 'chess game has kicked off'

With Warriors-Clippers, 'chess game has kicked off'
April 20, 2014, 9:00 pm
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I wouldn't be shocked if their sense of urgency is (multiplied) by 10.
Jermaine O'Neal

Programming note: Coverage of Warriors-Clippers Game 2 starts Monday night at 6:30 on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live. Bookmark this page for comprehensive coverage of the Western Conference Quarterfinals series.

LOS ANGELES – Now that Game 1 is in the books, won by the visiting Warriors over the favored Clippers, we have a playoff series.

So now everything intensifies, and not just for the Clippers.

Though Los Angeles will have a desperate desire to even the series in Game 2 on Monday night, the Warriors realize that in victory they overcame some spotty play and destructive tendencies.

They played hard but not always well.

"That's why we're here today," coach Mark Jackson said prior to the team's practice at UCLA. "There's stuff to clean up and stuff to get better at."

Jackson pointed out the obvious statistical issues, notably the 21 Warriors turnovers. He also pointed out that his most dangerous player, point guard Stephen Curry, did not have a particularly impressive game.

Curry finished with 14 points, seven assists and three steals. He also committed seven turnovers. And he missed 10 of his 16 shots. He tailed off in the second half, shooting 2-of-10.

And yet the Warriors prevailed.

"We've put ourselves in a hole," Clippers star Blake Griffin said. "And we need to fight."

Both teams will make adjustments. The Clippers and coach Doc Rivers may have been surprised to see the Warriors play some zone defense. The Warriors may not have anticipated the energy of L.A. reserve Glen Davis. Both teams had to work through the typical Game 1 anxieties.

"We had opportunities," Clippers guard Chris Paul said. "But you've got to let it go."


Although both teams understand what's at stake, the Clippers are facing a deficit.

"I wouldn't be shocked if their sense of urgency is (multiplied) by 10," Warriors center Jermaine O'Neal said.

"They're going to make adjustments," Jackson said. "But we're going to make adjustments, too. We knew this was going to be a tough, hard-fought series, so we'll make adjustments in game and also between games. That's what a playoff series is all about.

"They have guys, not just Doc, but a lead assistant in Chris Paul that's been there and done that. They're going to be prepared. We understand we're going to see a better Clippers team."

One thing both teams would like is to keep their star forwards on the court. Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala fouled out in 20 minutes, while Griffin was disqualified in only 19.

[RELATED: Jackson on Iguodala: 'This is why we went and got him']

The Clippers had an early 11-point lead and lost it. The Warriors went up 11 in the fourth quarter, only to have Los Angeles pull back into a tie. So there is plenty to dissect and discuss.


"The chess game," O'Neal said, "has kicked off."

A mixed metaphor, to be sure, but we understand what he's saying.

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