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Golden State Warriors

NBA Playoffs 2019: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers series preview

The field is set for the 2019 NBA Playoffs, which begin on Saturday.

NBA.com is your destination for complete coverage of every series from now through the end of the NBA Finals.

Series Schedule

Here is the schedule for the series, which begins on April 13:

Day Date Time (ET) Game No. Away Home TV
Sat 4/13 8:00 p.m. 1 LA Clippers Golden State TBA
Mon 4/15 10:30 p.m. 2 LA Clippers Golden State TBA
Thu 4/18 10:30 p.m. 3 Golden State LA Clippers TBA
Sun 4/21 3:30 p.m. 4 Golden State LA Clippers TBA
Wed 4/24 TBD 5* LA Clippers Golden State TBA
Fri 4/26 TBD 6* Golden State LA Clippers TBA
Sun 4/28 TBD 7* LA Clippers Golden State TBA

Recapping the season series

Result: Warriors won 3-1

Best game: Nov. 12, 2018 - Clippers 121, Warriors 116

Best performance: Stephen Curry (December 23, 2018) - 42 points, six rebounds, 12-for-22 (55%) from the field.

The Clippers won the first meeting this season between these two teams, no one remembers the overtime thriller for the result. Everyone remembers that it was on that night that Kevin Durant and Draymond Green got into a heated exchange during a time out.

Doc Rivers can try and use that win earlier in the season as motivation to prove that they can beat the reigning champions on any given night, but the team he'll lead out on to the floor on Saturday night for Game One is completely different from the one that pulled off the upset in November.

Tobias Harris and the 20.9 points per game he gave the Clippers are now in Philadelphia with the 76ers. Mike Scott's toughness and Boban Marjanovic's lockerroom presences went along with him.

In return, Los Angeles got back Wilson Chandler, Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala - who turned into Ivica Zubac and a handful of draft picks. At the time of the major trade most expected the Clippers to go into tank mode, they did the opposite and continued to win games they were supposed to.

Winning one or two games from the Warriors in this series will be a huge building block for Los Angeles, Golden State would have to end the series as quick as possible with little to no damage to their superstars.

Key Storyline: How will DeMarcus Cousin truly fit in?

Assuming the Warriors get past the Clippers, most people will be looking at how DeMarcus Cousins adds or subtracts from the two-time defending champions in the playoffs.

Throughout the regular season, Cousins has shown he's willing to take a step back and just try to fit in on the juggernaut Warriors. Other times he's stepped out of his role and tried to prove he's still one of the best big men in the league.

The Clippers will try to attack Cousins on offence putting him in multiple screen and rolls. It's a warm-up for what teams will try to do as the Warriors go deeper in the playoffs. If Cousins can hold up, Golden State may have an easy road to glory. If he doesn't his stock as one of the top available free agents may take a hit.

Three Players to watch

DeMarcus Cousins

vs. Los Angeles Clippers in 2018-19 (two games): 13.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, season-high 37.3% usage rate

As mentioned above the key to Cousins staying on the floor and having a big impact on this series is how well he can defend. On offence, he'll be a tough cover for the Clippers as they don't have anyone on the roster who can really contend with him down on the block.

This is an opportunity for Cousins to show he's not only healthy but that he still has that "it" factor that made him one of the best bigs in the NBA.

Lou Williams

vs. Golden State Warriors in 2018-19 (three games): 21.0 points, 6.7 assists, 54% true shooting.

If the Clippers are going to win one or more games in this series, it's going to be because of Lou Williams. No other Clipper is capable of a scoring explosion that could compete with the firepower the Warriors possess.

He's the team's closer and will be counted on to hit big shots in every game. The question will be how many of those shots can he hit? And will it be enough to extend the series beyond four games?

Stephen Curry

vs. Los Angeles Clippers in 2018-19 (three games): 32.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 142 offensive rating.

All eyes will be on Stephen Curry's foot after he injured it in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans late in the season.

The Warriors may not need Curry to get past the Clippers, but if they plan on hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the third straight year number 30 has to be on the floor long term.

Golden State played 13 games without Curry this season, they went 5-8 in those games. Of course, the playoffs are a different beast and they should get past Los Angeles even if Curry has a reduced schedule, but a healthy Curry is and will be the key to their championship aspirations.

Fast Facts:

- The Warriors and Clippers have met once in the NBA Playoffs, in a first-round series in 2014 in which the Clippers won in seven games.

- Of the current Warriors team, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala played in that series; no Clippers that played in that series are still on the team, however, Warriors assistant player development coach Willie Green was on the Clippers and saw action in three contests.

- This is the Warriors' franchise-record seventh straight playoff appearance

- Kevin Durant has shot at least 50 percent from the field in each of the last seven seasons.

- Durant's 457 assists is a single-season career best, surpassing the 445 he handed out in 2013-14

- L.A. is one of only seven teams in the NBA to appear in at least seven of the last eight NBA postseasons (Boston, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Oklahoma City, San Antonio).

- The Clippers ranked second in the NBA in three-point percentage (38.8%) and fifth in defensive three-point percentage this season, limiting opponents to 34.3% shooting from downtown.

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