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Grant Cohn: Time to gang up on Clippers' Blake Griffin

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, drives around Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green during the second half in Game 2 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Los Angeles, Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

OAKLAND – Sure, the Warriors could beat the Clippers in this best-of-seven playoff series which is tied at one win apiece. Here's the thing with that, though. The Warriors cannot guard the Clippers' best player – Blake Griffin – one-on-one.

Otherwise, the Warriors are in great shape.

The Warriors' center, Andrew Bogut, can guard Griffin one-on-one. Bogut frustrates and angers Griffin. We've seen that. But Bogut fractured his rib on April 10 and is out indefinitely. In the post, Griffin bulldozes the other Warriors big men – David Lee, Jermaine O'Neal, Marreese Speights and Draymond Green. Only Bogut has the size and strength to frustrate Griffin.

The Warriors and Clippers played each other four times during the regular season. Bogut played in all four games, and the Warriors outscored the Clippers by 16 points when he was on the court. That's called having a "plus-minus" of plus-16.

Bogut has not played in this series, probably won't play in the series, and in Game 1 Griffin's plus-minus was plus-9 even though he played just 19 minutes. In Game 2, Griffin played 30 minutes and his plus-minus was plus-22.

So far, Mark Jackson has chosen not to double-team Griffin. So, Griffin has gotten everything he wants near the Warriors' basket. Easy shots. Layups. Dunks.

Without Bogut, the Warriors cannot continue to guard Griffin one-on-one in the post. Well, they can if they want to lose.

"We will give (Griffin) different looks," Jackson said at Wednesday morning's workout in Oracle Arena. "We've got to be better individually defending him, offering resistance, and then collectively we've got to do a better job."

Jackson's first concept – being better at individually defending Griffin – makes you laugh. Go get him, David Lee!

Yeah, right.


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