3 things Warriors must do against Clippers

December 5, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) celebrates after scoring a three-point basket against the Indiana Pacers during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Pacers 142-106. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

These are the things the Golden State Warriors must do if they want to come away with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers on the road.

At 18-3, the Golden State Warriors have the best record in the NBA. On Wednesday night, the Warriors will play one of their most anticipated games of the season, when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers on the road.

The Warriors have bitter rivalries with multiple teams and the Clippers are one of them. Neither side likes the other and both would love to get a win to hold over the other. These two teams met in the preseason and the Warriors blew them out, but it’s a whole different game in the regular season. Here are three things the Warriors must do.

3. Find the hot hand

Golden State is averaging 120.2 points per game on the season. Part of the reason for their success this season is because they are finding the hot hand on the court. That’s what they did against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

They let Klay Thompson go off and consistently fed him en route to 60 points in just 29 minutes. Nights like that are rare and aren’t going to happen often, but they need to bring that same mindset against the Clippers.

They need to figure out just who has the touch early and get him the ball. Whether it’s Thompson again or Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant or someone else. If they’re feeling it, the Warriors need to gravitate the ball toward that individual.

October 4, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots the basketball against Los Angeles Clippers center Marreese Speights (5, left) and forward Brandon Bass (30) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

2. Grab Rebounds

It might sound pretty simple but the Golden State Warriors need to control the glass against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors aren’t exactly the masters of rim protection and grabbing rebounds, but they have to against DeAndre Jordan.

The Clippers are going to try and disrupt the Warriors with size in this one. This means that Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee have to give their team a big boost. Draymond Green will be down low battling for boards and Kevin Durant’s going to get in there as well.

This isn’t going to come down to just one guy like a team like the Clippers can do with a guy like Jordan. The Warriors have to use a collective effort on the glass and that’s what they’re going to need to get a big win on the road.

If the entire team is chipping in and defending the paint and doing work down in the interior, then Golden State is going to win this game. It’s never easy against Los Angeles, but that’s what it takes to win at the Staples Center.

Feb 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) and forward Jeff Green (8) guard Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in the second half of the game at Staples Center. The Warriors won 115-112. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

1. Hold onto the ball

In a game against Chris Paul and the Clippers, Golden State has to protect the basketball. The Clippers are going to try and force the Warriors into being reckless with the basketball and will try to steal momentum early with transition points.

Golden State has proven they can get reckless with the basketball at times and that can take them out of a game real quick. When this team is at their best and finding a vibe on the court, it’s because they hold onto the basketball and hit the open man.

They can play their game and take risks but not at the expense of giving up free points. This is a rivalry game and comes down to a cold, calculated approach to it. Stephen Curry will have his hands full with Chris Paul on him the whole night and he should expect a tough night ahead of him on the floor.

Still, he shouldn’t expect to be perfect either. They’ll turn the ball over on occasion but they can’t let it become the norm in this one. They have to come out of the gates quick and with a sharp focus to get a crucial Western Conference victory.

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