The West's top-seeded Golden State Warriors will face off against the No. 8 seed Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. The defending champs will be looking to get through the Clippers and ultimately win their third consecutive title. Meanwhile, L.A.'s presence in the playoffs is somewhat of a surprise, especially after the team traded away Tobias Harris prior to the deadline. Thanks to some solid play from Danilo Gallinari, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and others, however, the Clippers remain a formidable foe.
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The Warriors took the regular-season series 3-1 over the Clippers, and will be looking to continue to have similar success against them in the playoffs.
Here's everything you need to know about this first-round matchup between the Warriors and the Clippers.
No. 1 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers
How to watch Game 1
Date: Saturday, April 13
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Oracle Arena -- Oakland, California
TV channel: ABC
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Odds: Warriors -12.5
Clippers: The Clippers are one of the feel-good stories of the postseason, as not too many picked them to be there prior to the season's start. They will have their hands full when it comes to the Warriors, but the matchup should provide the team with some solid experience regardless.
Warriors: The Warriors enter the postseason as the heavy favorite to win their third consecutive title. The team was clearly coasting for large portions of the regular season, but now that the postseason is here, their focus and performance will likely elevate.
Matchups to watch
1. Steve Kerr vs. Doc Rivers: Two of the game's premier coaches will go head-to-head in this series. Both have had ample success in the postseason, and both know what to expect. Playoff basketball becomes much more of a chess match, as teams play each other multiple times in a row, and it will be interesting to see how these two counteract each other.
2. Patrick Beverley vs. Steph Curry: Beverley likes to make things as difficult as possible for his opponents, and he will surely be tasked with trying to slow Curry at times throughout the series. A matchup between the league's deadliest shooter and one of its most tenacious defenders promises to be exciting.
3. Draymond Green vs. His emotions: Green led the league with 16 technical fouls during the regular season, and his emotions have gotten the best of him in the postseason in the past. The Warriors won't want to lose Green for a game due to suspension (we all remember what happened when that occurred in 2016), so he will have to try to keep himself in check.
Series prediction, pick
Warriors in four: The Clippers have had a solid season, but it will end in short order against the Warriors. The Clippers simply don't have the firepower to keep up with a focused Golden State team that boasts five All-Stars in their first five. The Warriors will likely use the first round series against the Clippers as a tune up to get ready for a potential big test against the Houston Rockets in the second round.
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