LOS ANGELES – As an audience would for a comedian telling jokes on stage, folks, let's give it up for the Warriors and the Clippers.
They work pretty hard at finding ways to entertain even without a basketball.
Take Tuesday, for example. Having already dethroned the Clippers and locked up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Warriors are at Staples Center to play a game that is tangibly significant only to Los Angeles.
Warriors forward Draymond Green is sidelined with inflammation in both shins, though Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Tuesday morning that Green could play through the discomfort if the game "meant something."
Clippers coach Doc Rivers, informed in his pregame news conference of Kerr's comment, responded by flicking a jab at the Warriors.
"That was pretty predictable," Rivers said of Green's absence. "We kind of assumed they didn't want to take the risk of going 2-2 with their regular guys."
Tuesday's game is the finale of the season series between the teams, and the Warriors won two of the first three meetings. The Warriors entered the game with an 11.5-game lead over the second-place Clippers.
Naturally, Kerr, informed of Rivers' response, fired off a zinger of his own.
"Either that," Kerr said, "or we have a nine-game lead (in the Western Conference) with a couple guys banged up.
"It's somewhere in there."
It should be noted that Rivers' comment was made with a straight face, though his tongue surely was planted firmly in his cheek. Kerr, in his reply, made no effort to hide his grin.