The big number
11. The Warriors will enter the postseason with the No. 11 ranked defense in the NBA, allowing 108.5 points per 100 possessions. That might seem to give the Clippers some hope, given that LA was ranked ninth in offensive efficiency this season (111.3) and averaged 115.1 points per game during the season.
Problem is, the Warriors coasted most of the first chunk of the season defensively, as they did last year when they also were 11th in defensive efficiency. But when the playoffs came around, Golden State was the No. 1 team in defensive efficiency, and ranked fifth in the category over its final 16 games (they were 12-4 in that stretch).
Most teams can’t really flick a switch in the playoffs, but the Warriors are an exception.
Warriors vs. Clippers prediction
It’s remarkable that the Clippers managed 48 wins this season, and they might have had a chance at an upset if they had not been stuck with the eighth seed. LA is a team on the rise, but they’re not ready for a Warriors upset just yet.
Warriors over Clippers, 4-1