The San Antonio Spurs look to continue their new winning streak and their dominance over the Los Angeles Clippers as they face the Clippers tonight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
To talk about the game tonight, I turned to Peter Kim from The No Look Pass – one of the best NBA sites on the Internet — to talk Spurs and Clippers.
Check out Peter’s answers as he gives Project Spurs his take on the game, why the Clippers can’t seem to get things going with such a talented roster, and much more.
Jeff: On paper the Clippers seem to have all the right pieces. Blake Griffin, Eric Gordan, etc. So what’s the deal? Why can’t this team seem to get it together?
Peter: On offense there isn’t enough structure. Lots of times they’ll run a play with a slight variation over and over with limited options. When that doesn’t work, it usually ends up in the hands of the ball-handler to create. Luckily, it’s been Eric Gordon who has been getting to the line at will and is 5th in the league in FT attempts. And then we all know that Blake is a monster, freak of nature, all the good stuff.
Defensively, it’s been a disaster. The Clippers are 25th in the league in opponent’s points per game and can’t guard the 3 point line to save their lives.
We know they’re talented and the sky’s the limit but they’re lacking what all the elite teams have: chemistry, a good bench and veteran leadership. It’ll take a while before they get it all together.
Al-Farouq Aminu is having a nice rookie season. Did you expect this from him?
We really didn’t expect this from him this fast mainly because it didn’t look like he was going to get much playing time. He had a breakout game off the bench in New Orleans earlier in the year and he’s pretty much built up momentum from there. He’s also knocked down 54% of his 3′s which is a nice added bonus.
If he continues to develop at this rate, there’s no doubt that he’ll be the Clippers’ small forward for the foreseeable future.
Blake Griffin is a beast. Can you see him ending up with the Rookie of the Year award over Washington Wizards’ rookie John Wall?
Absolutely. It’s tough to say if he’ll maintain this level of output for the rest of the season especially when Kaman returns but we know that he’ll continue to fill the highlight reels.
People who don’t ever watch the Clippers are tuning in and nearly everyone is saying that he is “better than advertised” and that speaks volumes.
Blake is definitely on everyone’s ROY radar and even getting some talk about sneaking into the All-Star game. But we’re getting a little bit ahead of ourselves here. One thing is for sure, Clipper Nation is just glad that he’s in the conversation to be the first Clipper rookie of the year since Terry Cummings.(There’s a little Spurs/Clipper connection).
What are the keys to the game for the Clippers to win over the Spurs?
They really need to watch out for the 3′s. When it comes to the Spurs, one can’t help but ask, who can’t knock down 3′s on that team? So if the Clippers can at least chase some of them off the line they’ll be in decent shape.
Aside from that, their other major concern will be the 3rd quarter. The Clippers this season have been horrendous in the 3rd quarter so they can’t let the Spurs take over in the 2nd half.
What is the key matchup to watch for in the game?
Bledsoe vs. Parker. The Clippers the past few years have had difficulty guarding quick guards, and while it seems Parker has lost some of his quickness, he’s still effective and burned the rookie Bledsoe last game for 21 points and 19 points in the first meeting.
Prediction. Who wins the game and why?
That losing streak against the Spurs has continued and it doesn’t look like it’ll end just yet. The Spurs just seem to have the Clippers’ number. March 7, 2006 the Clippers had their last win against the Spurs 98-85. I predict a similar result with the tables turned. I’ll say Spurs 98, Clippers 85.
Thanks to Peter for doing this Q&A. Check out my Q&A I did with Peter by clicking HERE.