Preseason Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Clippers

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (1-1) vs. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (1-2)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS DeJuan Blair 12.5 DeJuan Blair 7.5 Manu Ginobili 5.5
CLIPPERS Chris Kaman 17.0 Blake Griffin 9.7 Randy Foye 6.3
The San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers will play a preseason game today at Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City. Both teams are coming off from contrasting results from their previous preseason outings.

The Clippers are coming off a 127-87 trashing from the Golden State Warriors, while the Spurs handed the Miami Heat their first preseason defeat winning 90-73 in San Antonio.

The Spurs have used their preseason games trying to get a closer look at their camp hopefuls. They recently released guard Kirk Penney bringing down the roster count to 17 and will need to cut at least three more players before the season starts.

With that being said, expect the Spurs to play their camp invitees a lot more. Curtis Jerrells, Marcus Cousin, James Gist, Bobby Simmons, Garrett Temple and Alonzo Gee are virtually playing for the three remaining roster spots.

On the other hand, the Clippers seem to use their preseason games to see what they’ve got with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Randy Foye. All have played a considerable amount of time during the preseason and after a season plagued will injuries, Griffin looked to be a good player for the Clippers. In three preseason games, Griffin is averaging 16.7 points, 9.7 rebounds while shooting 74% (20/27) from the field.

Chris Kaman will enter this game well rested since he did not play against the Warriors and Eric Gordon could log major minutes against the Spurs as he only played two preseason games so far.

The Spurs will face the Clippers with a thin front court. Antonio McDyess (given the night off) and Tiago Splitter (recovering from an injury) will not join the team in Mexico.

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — DeJuan Blair has been leading the Spurs in scoring in the first two preseason games. However, given enough playing time, Neal, James Anderson, Jerrells and Gee can all be scoring threats. It will also be interesting to see how Blair matches up against one the league’s young big man and possible Rookie of the Year candidate Blake Griffin.

Defense — Keep Kaman and Griffin from dominating the paint. The Spurs should also be wary of the Clippers’ outside shooters.

CLIPPERS:

Offense — With the Spurs short on big man expect more inside scoring from Griffin and Kaman.

Defense — The Spurs will probably rely more on their backcourt which means they can focus on guarding Neal and Anderson on the perimeter and stopping the Spurs’ dribble penetrations.

INJURIES

SPURS:

Tiago Splitter – strained right plantaris muscle. (out)

Matt Bonner – sprained left thumb (probable)

CLIPPERS:

Baron Davis – knee (probable)

PREDICTION

With the Spurs having the tough task on evaluating their players, expect continued playing time for their camp hopefuls. While Clippers might continue on giving more minutes to Griffin and their other young players.

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