Can the Warriors win a playoff round without Andris Biedrins? They're really testing fate now ...
Yes, the good-natured Latvian center was on their roster for every single one of their playoff series victories since the 1991 playoffs ... all two of them (last season over Denver as an afterthought and in 2007 over Dallas as a key big-man piece).
But he's gone now. Can they survive and advance without him?
Here's one way: The Warriors go into tonight's Game 3 at Oracle knowing that they have to win at home -- to keep the Clippers at bay, to get ahead of this series 2-1, and to stay on course with the recent history of the Warriors franchise.
Which says: The Warriors don't win playoff series if they lose at home, that's just a fact.
I don't like the term "must win" until a team is literally one defeat away from elimination, so I won't say that about this game, though I do believe the Warriors have to win it to have much of a chance in the series.
I'll call it an urgent game: If the Warriors lose to the Clippers tonight, they'll be in serious trouble of losing the series, maybe very quickly.
It's just the way these playoff series go, momentum swings and when one team exerts control, it's imperative that the other team grabs it right back, particularly when it has home court.
After the Game 2 Clipper stomping at Staples, that's where this series is tonight. I don't think the Warriors can win this series if they lose this game.
I believe the Clippers can survive a loss tonight, but I think it'd be close to a kill-shot if the Warriors do.
The home-court Warriors playoff history ...
Easy breakdown: Win all their games at home, the Warriors win the series. Lose any of the home games, and they usually lose.
The last time the Warriors won a series despite losing a home game was in 1977, when they lost Game 1 at home to Detroit in the first round but won the next two games (Game 2 at Detroit, Game 3 at home) to win the best-of-three series.
They lost in seven games the next round that year to the Lakers, winning every home game but losing all four games in LA.
Let's go through the history, starting with the Warriors' series victories ...
The Warriors' series losses ...
Despite the Oracle noise and sellout crowds, the GSWs were 27-14 at home, tied for only the ninth best home record in the NBA.
They were a great regular-season road team: 24-17 record, third best in the league, and that translated to that Game 1 victory at Staples, I'd say.
Meanwhile, the Clippers were 23-18 on the road, tied for fourth-best. They're a good road team. Game 3 tonight is a huge one.
This time it's two days off between Games 2 and 3 ... and then there will be another two days off between Games 3 and 4 ... and I'm suggesting in a playoff format, when you're playing the same team, these long two-day breaks are similar two three-day breaks in the regular season.
It sure felt long, no?
After some back-and-forth arguing with myself, I'm sticking with that guess.
I think the Clippers will play a great game and obviously the Warriors still don't have a matchup for Blake Griffin. But I'll go with the home-court and I think Stephen Curry will get a few more open looks and will play great.
I think the Warriors will hold off the Clippers for one home game. Then Game 4 on Sunday will be the series, basically.