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Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Clippers

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (15-2) vs. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (3-15)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 21.9 Tim Duncan 9.7 Tony Parker 7.3
CLIPPERS Eric Gordon 24.3 Blake Griffin 11.6 Eric Gordon 4.9

The San Antonio Spurs improved to 8-0 on the road for the first time with last night’s 118-98 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Manu Ginobili had 27 points and Tim Duncan recorded his third regular season triple-double against the Warriors by scoring 15 points, grabbing 18 rebounds and dishing out a career high-tying 11 assists.

The Spurs (15-2) will be seeking their third victory over the Clippers this season, and 19th straight in their overall regular season matchup.

Chris Kaman will likely miss his 11th straight game, while Baron Davis remains day-to-day after sitting the last 10 games.

Without two of his top players, coach Vinny Del Negro has leaned heavily on Eric Gordon and rookie Blake Griffin on offense.

The Clippers’ (3-15) last win against the Spurs was a 98-85 victory at home on March 7, 2006.


KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — The Spurs have enough firepower, entering this game, five Spurs players are averaging on double figures. Making their outside shots will also be key for the Spurs.

Defense
– Limit Gordon and Griffin on offense, control the boards and close out of the Clippers’ perimeter shooters.

CLIPPERS:

Offense — Their offense starts with Gordon and Griffin and if Kaman and Davis don’t play, the young duo will again have to carry much of the offensive load for the Clippers.

Defense — Limit Ginobili, Parker, Jefferson and Hill’s dribble penetrations and contain Duncan on the inside.

INJURIES

Spurs — James Anderson – stress fracture (out)

Clippers — Chris Kaman – left ankle (day-to-day), Baron Davis – knee (day-to-day)

PREDICTION: The Spurs have won 18 straight against the Clippers but are playing the second night of a back-to-back. The Clippers is a young team with a ton of potential and will try their hardest to get another win.
It will be important for the Spurs to start the game strong to avoid an upset. This could be a “trap game”. However, I still believe that the Spurs will win this one and extend their new winning streak to three games.

Follow Robby Lim on Twitter @RobbyLim21

Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Clippers

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (1-1) vs. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (0-3)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 22.5 Tim Duncan 9.5 Tony Parker 6.5
CLIPPERS Eric Gordon 16.7 Blake Griffin 11.0 Baron Davis 5.7

The San Antonio Spurs will visit Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers for their first regular season game on the road. Both teams are coming off losses.

The Clippers (0-3) were defeated by the Dallas Mavericks 99-83 while the Spurs (1-1) lost against the New Orleans Hornets 99-90 last Saturday. Their first loss of the new season.

The Spurs will try to bounce back against a young Clippers team who are still win-less after three games. However, the Clippers remains a dangerous team. The trio of Griffin, Chris Kaman and Eric Gordon has shown improvement and has anchored the teams’ potent offensive attack.

This could also be the NBA debut for Brazilian big man Tiago Splitter. If Tiago plays, the Spurs will get ample help upfront, especially on the defensive side of the floor.

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:


Offense
The Spurs’ offense starts with the ‘Big Three’, but Richard Jefferson is the teams’ second leading scorer after two games, plus George Hill, DeJuan Blair and James Anderson can provide some offense. Also, expect a better game from Duncan on the offensive end after scoring just seven points in their loss against the Hornets.
Defense – Defense has been the major issue for the Spurs, in the first two games, they are allowing their opponents to shoot 51.6% from the field. That only means they have to step up their overall defensive effort. Splitter’s presence might ease the Spurs’ woes in the interior.
CLIPPERS:

Offense – Griffin, Gordon and Kaman are the center of their offense. But the Clippers have to shoot better from the field and from behind the three-point line to have a chance at beating the Spurs.

Defense – The Clippers have enough big bodies to crowd Duncan and Blair inside the paint, it will be key for them to limit Tony Parker, Jefferson and Manu Ginobili’s dribble penetrations .

INJURIES

Spurs — Tiago Splitter – strained right plantaris muscle (probable), Matt Bonner – sprained right ankle (out). 

Clippers — Randy Foye – hamstring (day-to-day), Craig Smith – back (day-to-day)

PREDICTION: The Spurs should focus and try to put the game away early and set the tone on defense to get back to the win column. The Clippers on the other hand, are a young team who will try their best to get their first season win at home.
The Spurs will have to use their experience and improve on defense to get it done. They will win this one and get back on the winning track, keeping the Clippers win-less after four games.

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