Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.
For the second time this series, the Warriors have disappointed the Oracle crowd. Unlike Game 2, when the Warriors at the very least competed defensively for half of the game, the Warriors came out completely flat and uninspired on defense right out the gates. Since Kevin Durant joined the Warriors, the team has only lost three playoff games at home, and two of those losses are this series.
With every Warriors Outsiders show, we do a simulcast on Facebook Live. Here are some questions and comments that we didn’t get to address from the last show about what ails the Dubs.
Stan Ware: Without a doubt the Clippers are significantly better on the bench than the Warriors. It sounds like you're not giving nearly the amount of credit to the Clippers that they deserve.
You are right, there is not a doubt about that. And I have not heard anyone say otherwise. Lou Williams is the best scoring sixth man in the league, Montrezl Harrell is a beast, and JaMychal Green (who is now starting) has been consistently effective.
The Clippers led the NBA in bench scoring in the regular season. So again, no one is denying the Clippers bench is very legitimate and they deserve a lot of credit for pushing this series to six games. The Clips are scrappy and tough, playing with nonstop energy and fight.
A team deserves credit when they actually take advantage of the Warriors' defensive apathy. And they have.
Sylvia Young: Kev was huge, what a waste.
Kevin Durant was sensational offensively in this game. He was lethal in every way, attacking the rim with aggression, getting to the free throw line, finding his highly efficient mid-range shots, and even hitting from distance -- which has been inconsistent for KD this season. His five made 3s were the most shots from deep he has made in a game since Jan. 16.
Durant attempted 26 field goals, his highest total since Nov. 29 at Toronto. And I think he probably should have taken more -- he was that good. He has also gone to the free throw line 44 times this series, making 42 of them. Durant has been a monster on offense these last three games, and I expect him to play that way again Friday.
Vinura Devinuwara: How confident are you with this squad against Rockets? Winning chances?
It is so hard not to look ahead to the next series, but after what we witnessed in Game 5, it is important for the Warriors to take care of the Clippers before even thinking about the Rockets.
However, IF the Warriors were to advance and play Houston next round, I would definitely expect a long, hard-fought series. Houston is playing really well and does an exceptional job of slowing the game and finding a team's weaknesses. But there will be time to fully break down that series if and when the Warriors advance.
PJ Marcelino: Refs are irrelevant cuz they didnt play with urgency from top off
Exactly. Mark Davis had a rough night officiating the game, that goes without saying. But that is definitely not the reason the Warriors lost.
As PJ said, the energy and effort on the defensive end from the get-go were just not there. They did not play with the urgency or focus defensively that you'd expect from a team in a closeout game. At this point, the Warriors have been consistently inconsistent on defense this season, especially at home, so there is no reason simply expect the team to show up fully engaged on a nightly basis.
The Clippers have taken advantage of that, but more talented teams await and are even more capable of exposing even the slightest slip-ups.
Rich McClure Jr: We should see the Warriors at their best on Friday
I fully expect the Warriors to play similarly to the way they did in Game 3 of this series. They should come out with fire and passion, trying to make up for their apathy and lack of urgency from the game before. The Warriors also will play on the road Friday, where it is much easier to predict effort from the team.
If the Warriors do not close out the series on Friday, I will be stunned.