Warriors-Clippers Playoff Preview: Five Key Factors

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hehatemeIn terms of competitiveness and venom, nothing comes close to matching what this series should bring.

These teams simply do not like one another, and their rivalry has been building over the course of two seasons in which the hatred between the teams has only grown with each encounter. If you had to pick one series and one series only to watch every minute of, this would be the winner among those who like their hoops with some histrionics.

If you had to pick a series Most Likely to Include a Brawl, this is where you would make your wager.

Memo to East Coast fans: Buy coffee. Buy Red Bull. Heck, buy straight caffeine pills if that is what it takes. The scheduling gods have done you a favor by putting two of the first four games in afternoon time slots. If they can pull some more of that magic for the as-of-yet unscheduled Games 5, 6 and 7, we can all count ourselves as lucky.

Twitter reacts to Stephen Curry’s game-winner against Dallas Mavericks

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Andre Iguodala Steve Blake Stephen Curry

With the season winding down and holding just a 1 1/2 game lead over the trailing Dallas Mavericks, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors could ill-afford to lose Tuesday’s game on the road at the American Airlines Center.

After an inexplicable loss against the New York Knicks on Sunday, the Warriors knew another loss – particularly to the Mavericks – would put them in a neck and neck battle for the remainder of the season with three other teams just to make it back to the playoffs. Golden State came out blazing and shot 55 percent or better from the field for much of the game despite having to play without David Lee and Andrew Bogut, but Dallas was ready for the challenge. Dirk Nowitzki, for the most part, had his way with 33 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field – including six-of-eight from the 3-point line –  to go with 11 rebounds and three assists. Monta Ellis was also highly effective against his former team with 27 points and six assists. The Warriors countered with a number of weapons: Klay Thompson had 27 points, five rebounds and five assists, Andre Iguodala had 16 points on seven-of-nine shooting to go with eight rebounds and seven assists, Jermaine O’Neal turned back the clock with 20 points and eight rebounds, Jordan Crawford had 19 points on an impressive seven-of-10 shooting, and Draymond Green did a bit of everything with nine points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block.

In the end, though, Curry would have the final say, as he launched a shot over Jose Calderon with virtually no time left on the clock in overtime. 

SH Blog: Kobe Bryant calls out Lakers’ leadership, former D-League player says MJ is overrated

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kobeKobe Bryant has been sidelined for much of this season due to a couple of devastating injuries, and the Los Angeles Lakers have toiled in the bottom of the conference as a result. Of course, that’s not to say that all would have been well and the Lakers would have been a playoff team if Bryant played, but their record would certainly be better than 22-42 – 1/2 game better than the Utah Jazz who have been in tank mode since the season began.

Despite his absence from the court, however, he has paid attention to everything that has gone on, from how bad the Lakers have been, watching the front office trade away one of his favorite players, and now seeing Phil Jackson joining the New York Knicks. Needless to say, Bryant is less than pleased with it all, from Mike Bresnahan of Los Angeles Times:

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SH Blog: World Peace opens up about Knicks, Heat expected to land Butler, Howard has advice for Anthony

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Metta World PeaceMetta World Peace has been largely silent about everything that has been going on with the New York Knicks this season. He has been cooperative and never once had anything bad to say or complain about the situation he was in.

He still doesn’t have any ill-feelings towards anyone, but now that he is no longer with the team, many things on his mind – including Carmelo Anthony’s leadership, James Dolan’s impact and Mike Woodson’s coaching ability – were finally shared with Frank Isola of New York Daily News:

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Tweet of the Day: Steph Curry’s Facebook Q&A

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Tuesday night the Charlotte Bobcats put the clamps on the Dubs shooters—holding the team to a pitiful 31.2-percent from the floor—in a 16-point blowout win. It was the team’s worst shooting percentage since 2004, when they shot 27.5-percent against the Memphis Grizzlies. Point guard Steph Curry shot 8-of-18 (44-percent) from the floor in the loss.

The most efficient scorer on the team—not named Curry—was Jermaine O’Neal, who made his return from wrist surgery, having shot 2-of-5 (40-percent) from the floor en route to nine points in 17 minutes.

On the heels of one of the Golden State Warriors’ most abysmal offensive outings in recent memory, the team took to the practice court to try to correct their wayward shooting. Prior to practice, point guard Steph Curry informed his followers that he’d be holding court for a Q&A afterwards on his Facebook page.