Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Clippers

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (5-1) vs. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (1-7)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 21.8 Tim Duncan 10.7 Tony Parker 8.3
CLIPPERS Eric Gordon 21.1 Blake Griffin 10.4 Baron Davis 4.8

The San Antonio Spurs have won 17 straight games against the Los Angeles Clippers and will look to extend their current winning streak to five games when they host the Clippers at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

The Clippers (1-7) are coming off a 101-82 loss against the New Orleans Hornets while the Spurs (5-1) are riding on a four game winning streak. Their latest 95-91 victory came against the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Spurs might get a break. The Clippers could face the Spurs badly undermanned. Eric Gordon missed the game against the Hornets due to a shoulder injury and it’s uncertain if he could play in San Antonio. Also Chris Kaman could be out for 2-3 weeks with a left ankle sprain.

Baron Davis who did not play in a 97-88 home loss against San Antonio last November 1 returned to action against the Hornets and had four points and three assists in 10 minutes of action.

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — The Spurs offense starts with the “Big Three” but they are getting more help. Richard Jefferson is playing pretty well and rookies Gary Neal and James Anderson are hitting their outside shots. One thing the Spurs should keep an eye on is turnovers. They have to learn how to take care of the ball even if they chose to run-and-gun.
Defense — There is an improvement on the Spurs’ defense. In their last game, they held the Bobcats below 40% field shooting which is an encouraging sign. However, they need to be more focused against a young short-handed team like the Clippers to avoid any let downs.
CLIPPERS:

Offense — If Gordon will not be able to play, much of the offensive load will fall on the shoulders of Blake Griffin, but he will get help from veterans Davis, Rasual Butler and Randy Foye. Rookies Al-Farouq Aminu and Eric Bledsoe could also provide some offensive punch off the bench. Especially Aminu who had a nice game versus the Hornets.

Defense — Without Kaman, the Clipper’s interior defense will be relatively weaker, that means DeAndre Jordan, Griffin and veteran Jarron Collins will have to work extra hard on the defensive end.

INJURIES

Spurs — George Hill – trapezius muscle (day-to-day), Matt Bonner – sprained right ankle (out). 

Clippers — Eric Gordon – shoulder (day-to-day), Baron Davis – knee (day-to-day), Chris Kaman – sprained left ankle (out)

PREDICTION: The Spurs should keep their focus and try to put the game away early, set the tone on defense and make sure that they don’t take the Clippers lightly. On the other hand, the Clippers could be playing with a nothing to loose attitude and try to give it their all to get their first road win of the season.
However, the Spurs are a veteran team and got more depth. The Spurs should win this one and extend their win streak to five games.

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