Entries in Clippers (6)


Durant on Warriors’ woes: ‘You feel like you’re in a bottomless pit’

By Art Spander
For Maven Sports

OAKLAND — Kevin Durant has it all figured out. “They’re playing loose, with nothing to lose,” he said about the other team, the Los Angeles Clippers, the team that right there on the floor of the Oracle ran circles, rings and cubes around the Warriors.

Read the full story here.

Copyright 2019, The Maven 


Green, Warriors go speeding along

By Art Spander

OAKLAND — There are only two questions remaining for the Warriors at the moment, to wit: How fast was Draymond Green, driver or passenger, really going in his BMW, and exactly when will they clinch home-court advantage through the playoffs? OK, there’s another indirect question: Whatever happened to the Los Angeles Clippers?

You’re probably aware the W’s on Wednesday night won another regular season game at Oracle Arena, their 51st straight at home, beating the Clips 114-98, their sixth straight win and fourth in four tries this season over the team that, with the collapse of the Lakers, was supposed to be the best in L.A.

But what nobody knows for certain is who was in the driver’s seat in the video that appeared on Green’s Snapchat account which shows an inside-the-vehicle view of a speedometer hitting 118 mph. Well, somebody knows but isn’t talking publicly. Not to this point.

The since-deleted video — we can erase our sins in the electronic age — was posted on before Green, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds, beat the Clippers.

A video subsequently posted on Green’s Snapchat account showed people inside the same BMW but the car traveling at what could be described as a prudent speed. It is uncertain if, in either video, Green is the driver or the passenger, and before the game Warriors GM Bob Meyers told Diamond Leung of the San Jose Mercury News, “I’m not talking about it.”

Neither was Warriors coach Steve Kerr, but he had a legitimate season: “I didn’t know about it until just before the game.” And why would he?

This is probably teapot-tempest stuff, the type of mildly embarrassing incident that happens when young men seek a bit of off-the-court frivolity that, fortunately, ended up hurting no one. Green has been both a model citizen — he has donated millions to his alma mater, Michigan State — and a brilliant player. But with the Warriors having become the shining star of Bay Area sports, wildly successful, wildly popular, you hope nothing negative gets in the way.

The Warriors, as teams do when confronted with off-court, off-field issues, issued a statement that said they are aware of the video and alluded to their high standards, adding, “We look forward to having a conversation with Draymond and getting additional information.”

His mother, Mary Babers-Green, said in a tweet — she is more than an occasional tweeter — “RELAXXXXXX…y’all act like y’all have never tried to see how fast your car would go.

The Warriors weren’t going very fast the first quarter. Then, whoosh. With Andrew Bogut back in the lineup, his bad foot having healed, the defense took over, enabling the offense to open up. Stephen Curry (12 of 23) had 33 points; Klay Thompson (12 of 21) had 32 points.

“We weren’t playing our brand of basketball in the first half,” said Thompson. “We didn’t play bad, but we didn’t play good, until we pushed the pace on the defensive end. It always carries over on the offensive end, and we’re able to get on a break. I think we’re the most exciting team in the NBA on a fast break.”

Did someone say they’re as fast on the break as whoever was behind the wheel of Draymond’s car?  Sorry. Just like the Snapchat video, erase that.

See, the problem with the Warriors’ season is it’s repetitively boring. So they lost at San Antonio? Even in the defeat, on the road, Curry going 1 for 12, the W’s were in it until the end. That tells you how good they are. That tells you why a Draymond Green video of a car’s speedometer well into three figures becomes a major story. Because very little else with the Warriors is. It’s the same old, same old.

“For many years,” said Kerr, addressing a question of a Clippers-Warriors rivalry, “nobody cared about the Clippers against the Warriors. The last few years, people have cared ... but for some reason I didn’t think tonight had the same juice.”

But it had the same result, a Warriors victory.


S.F. Examiner: Fight night: Feisty Warriors-Clippers rivalry back on center stage

By Art Spander
San Francisco Examiner

Consider it proof that rivalries still matter and thrive in sports. What unfurls again tonight in downtown Los Angeles, and what could await in the second round of the postseason, qualifies as NBA antagonism at its thickest and feistiest. From a near-brawl on a memorable Christmas night to the ongoing commentary of Draymond Green, the Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers truly cannot stand each other, which is a little hard to believe when weighing the respective histories of the franchises.

"We don't like each other," Warriors center Andrew Bogut said, flatly.

Read the full story here.

© 2015 The San Francisco Examiner 


Warriors beautiful in an ugly game

By Art Spander

OAKLAND — It was so ugly, and yet it was so beautiful. It was basketball as boxing more than ballet, a game too full of missed shots and fouls, a game to be forgotten more than remembered.

Unless you were the Warriors.

Style didn’t matter for the Warriors. All that counted was the result. They had to get a win. A loss and the season was finished. A loss and they wouldn’t be together again on a court until the fall.

But they didn’t lose.

To the thrill of 19,596 fans at Oracle Arena. To the satisfaction of their head coach, Mark Jackson. Maybe even to the delight of the NBA, which on Saturday will have three game-sevens to put forth, one of which will match the Warriors, those how-did-they-do-it Warriors against the Clippers in Los Angeles.

That one became reality Thursday night when Stephen Curry intentionally missed a free throw, slamming it off the glass, with 00.4 remaining, so the Clips wouldn’t have a chance at a rebound, and the Warriors had a 100-99 victory.

The first-round playoff between the only two California teams in the postseason was tied at three wins apiece, and after all the emotion of the week, the tapes of racial remarks by Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the banning of Sterling by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the emphasis was on playing the game.

No matter how poorly.

“This is who we are,” said Jackson, almost defensively, of a squad that wasn’t sharp on offense but had more than enough character. “We’ve proven that when we play our brand of basketball, we’re awfully tough to beat. I’m proud of my guys. It’s been an incredible, incredible ride.”

And it’s not over yet for the sixth-seed Warriors.

“Now against a three-seed with two of the top 10 players in the world, and a future Hall of Fame coach,” said Jackson, exaggerating a bit — if not that much about Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Doc Rivers — “we are going to Game 7 in spite of all the sideline music.”

That’s his way of alluding to the situation involving Sterling, and involving the heart of the NBA, a league that prides itself on equality.

“And I like my chances because I’ve got a group of guys that want to do whatever it takes to win.”

Even when they only shoot 39.3 percent from the floor.

Even when they lose center Jermaine O’Neal with a knee injury just minutes into the second quarter.

Even when David Lee fouls out with 9:44 left in the fourth quarter.

They were down. They were up. They were down. They were up.

They got 45 minutes 29 seconds, 24 points and nine rebounds out of Curry. He wasn’t holding back, taking 24 shots, making nine, but why hold back when you’re trying to hang on?

They got 40 minutes 35 seconds from Draymond Green, who might not have had half that total if Andrew Bogut weren’t out with a fractured rib. Green had 14 points. Green had 14 boards.

“It wasn’t a very well-played game by either team,” said Rivers, the Clippers' coach, “going by shooting percentages. But I think both teams played extremely hard.

“I don’t know if they played harder than us, but they made the big plays. Give them credit. I thought they came up with just enough plays to beat us.”

That’s the whole idea, isn’t it? To win, if by one point as the Warriors did. Those fans at Oracle, in their gold T-shirts emblazoned with “Loud, Proud, Warriors,” were so wound up it seemed they could power the lights with their energy. This was it, the season on the brink, and they hoped to keep it alive.

Hoped the Warriors would keep it alive, which they did.

“They made tough shots,” said Jackson of his players. “You’re thinking, ‘Oh, my goodness. Can we get out of here and make sure there is a Game 7?'”

He knows the answer. We know the answer. We don’t know whether Game 7 will be the Warriors' last game of this 2013-14 season, but even a defeat should not diminish what they’ve attained and how they’ve done it.

“Those guys just competed,” Jackson said again. “I’m excited to see this young basketball team experience a Game 7 on the road. They haven’t experienced it as players. It’s new to Klay Thompson. It’s new to Stephen Curry. It’s new to Draymond Green. It’s new to all my guys, other than the veterans who have been around on other teams.

“It’s new to me. It’s going to be a lot of fun because a lot of folks didn’t we’d be here . . . We earned this platform.”

The very hardest way.


Warriors on outside looking at Clipper win

By Art Spander

OAKLAND — The game is won inside. That’s the NBA playoff mantra. The Warriors are an outside team, a team that beats you with threes by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Or as Thursday night at the Oracle, when the three-pointers didn’t fall, beats itself.

You’ve heard the phrase, the cliché: Dance with what brung ya. You don’t chase your style or philosophy in the playoffs. And without Andrew Bogut, the W’s didn’t have much chance inside anyway.

The Los Angeles Clippers had too much for the Warriors. Too much offense from Blake Griffin, who was banking them off the glass or ramming them through the rim, who scored 32 points and played like a man who was the first overall pick in the draft, as he was five years ago.

The Clips had too much defense. The Warriors, greatest outside shooters in the league or so we’re told, went 6 for 31 on three-pointers, and at one juncture were 2 for 24.

A hot Griffin, a cold Stephen Curry, and the Clips win it, 98-96.

Yes, the W’s had the ball in the final few minutes. Yes, it was in Curry’s hands. Yes, the sellout crowd of 19,596, all in the gold-colored T-shirts with the slogan “Loud. Proud. Warriors” was shrieking hysterically, the W’s having cut an 18-point deficit to two.

But in this game, the better team won and deserved to win. And the Clips now lead the best-of-seven first-round series two to one, with Game 4 on Sunday at the same place and perhaps headed for the same result.

“We earned the game,” said Doc Rivers, the Clippers' coach, “because we played better.”

If not all the time, especially in a fourth quarter that could be considered a quasi-embarrassment to the sport. And more of the time than the frustrated Warriors.

“There’s going to be a game soon where both teams play great,” said Rivers. With a maximum of four games remaining, it better come soon.

“In this one, we survived,” said Rivers, as forthright as he is wise — the man having led the Boston Celtics to the championship not that long ago.

The Clippers had the third-best regular season record in the Western Conference, behind San Antonio and Oklahoma City. The Warriors were sixth. That Golden State stole Game One of the series may have given some the erroneous idea the W’s are better than the Clips.

They are not, although they could beat them in seven games. Except not playing as they did Thursday night.

Not shooting 41.6 percent. Not making 17 turnovers. Not letting Griffin make 15 of 25 from the floor.

“He’s just been great,” Rivers said of Griffin. “He’s making jump shots. The bank shot that he’s added to his game, facing the basket, has taken him to a different level, because he’s very difficult to guard now. If you get up on him, he goes around you, and if you back up on him, he uses the glass.”

The Warriors simply use their long-range shooting, and when it isn’t working — Klay Thompson, the exception, was 10 of 22 for 26 points — they’re where they were in the second half on Thursday, far behind.

“If anyone breaks the mold,” said Rivers, disputing the thought that an outside shooting team can’t win in the postseason, “it is (the Warriors). They’re great at it. We’re great at posting. We have to do what we do.”

Meaning get the ball to Griffin.

“He’s having an outstanding series,” said Mark Jackson, the Warriors' coach, “topping off an outstanding season. He’s playing at a high level.”

Curry had done the same until the last couple of games. But the Clippers won’t let him loose, double-teaming, chasing him around the court. At halftime, Curry had taken only three shots and made just one. He did finish with 16 points in 43 minutes, but that was on 5 for 12 from the floor.

“We were not playing well,” said Jackson, refusing to name any single player. “I thought we tried to do too much. We were just on the edge a little bit. Then we settled down.”

Now, however, the Clippers have settled on top of the Warriors. A win by 30 points in Game 2. A win by 2 in Game 4.

“I feel we’re in character,” said Jackson. “When we defend at a high level and execute and take the basketball it shows that we’re tough to beat, and that’s been consistent in this series, also.

“Where we’ve had problems is when we’ve turned the basketball over, we’ve taken bad shots. We’ve allowed them to get it going. We’ve gone away from the game plan discipline. We’re not good enough to do that and win.”

As they showed Thursday night.