Programming note: Clippers-Warriors coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – Aware of Luke Walton’s apprehension entering the season, Warriors coach Steve Kerr gave his temporary replacement a few words of advice.
Things will be fine, Kerr told the bright but inexperienced interim coach, if you trust the players and the staff.
Ten days later, with the Warriors (4-0) off to the most dominating start in NBA history, Walton feels some relief and Kerr is joking about his own irrelevance.
Game 5, however, presents a challenge unlike any Walton’s Warriors have seen. The Los Angeles Clippers, also 4-0, visit Oracle Arena Wednesday night for the most anticipated game of the season.
It’s the next installment in what has become the most captivating rivalry in the NBA.
Warriors by 8.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Stephen Curry vs. Chris Paul: The league’s top two point guards are very different in their approach but almost equally effective. This battle, more than any other, is likely to have a major impact on the outcome.
Draymond Green vs. Blake Griffin: The dynamic of Warriors-Clippers games changed with Green’s stellar defense on Griffin. With the Clippers forward off to a torrid start, it’ll be interesting to see if that holds.
Warriors: C Andrew Bogut (concussion) is listed as questionable. F Kevon Looney (hip surgery) is out indefinitely.
Clippers: No injuries listed.
The Warriors won three of four last season, the second time in three seasons they’ve managed that feat. The Warriors have won the last seven regular-season meetings in Oakland and 17 of the last 19. The Clippers last victory at Oracle was on Christmas night 2011.
“It’ll be fun for the fans. It’ll be fun our guys, it’ll be fun for them. But whoever wins the game, that’s not that big of a deal. Obviously, both teams want to win. But as far as the big picture and playoffs and all of that, it’s just one game like the other 81.” – Interim coach Luke Walton on the Thursday night matchup.