Game Preview #25: Los Angeles Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs

Other than the video above, I got nothing for today's game preview. The holiday hack spirit has gotten to me. Jump in.

See, I told you. Nuttin'. I had some ideas for this game but the holiday cheer and jeer has gotten the best of me, and the fact that we almost lost to the Pacers made the Spurs undeserving of a massive previewing effort. Let's just get a damn more comfortable win this time, pretty please?

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Los Angeles Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs
Where: AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX
When: December 21, 2009, 7:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: FSN Southwest

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How They Stack Up
11-4 Home 7-8
3-6 Road 5-6
101.8
Offense 95.8
97.3 Defense 97.8
47.7 FG% 46.0
38.7 3-pt% 30.7
73.9 FT% 73.0
42.9 Rebounds 41.7
14.6 TOs 15.5
6-4 Last 10 6-4
Won 2
Streak Won 1
3rd, Southwest Position 3rd, Pacific

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina
10:30 PM
West Coast
5:30 PM
Philippines
9:30 AM
Central Europe 2:30 AM
Palestine/Egypt 3:30 AM
East Coast 8:30 PM
Snowville 6:30 PM
Perth, AUS 9:30 AM
Tokyo, JP 10:30 AM
Sydney, AUS 12:30 PM

Spurs
(14-10)
Matchups

Clippers
(12-14)

Tony Parker
French Fry

Point Guard

Baron Davis has been healthy for the entire season so far and yet not much has changed for the Clippers. A full team with few injuries or setbacks has produced a better record, but the Clippers remain a team going nowhere fast. Baron's averages have gone slightly up (not from beyond the arc, where he's abysmal), but he proved in Golden State he needs to shoot a lot more to be effective.

I'm still waiting on Tony to rekindle the brilliance and reliability that he showed last year. But even if he's operating below expectations, he's still a handful for any opposing team.

Advantage: Spurs


Baron Davis
Homeless Man

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Keith Bogans
The Thickness

Shooting Guard

It's the battle of The Thick People - stocky guards that can bully smaller guards, Bogans on the defensive end and Eric Gordon on the offensive end. Keith has been playing both ends of the floor quite well over the last few games, so let's hope he can limit E.G.'s offensive outburst.

Advantage: Clippers


Eric Gordon
Baby Faced Assassin

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Richard Jefferson
Hansbrough Killer

Small Forward

Despite weak numbers in the last game agains the Pacers, RJ still ended up with the second-highest plus-minus in the team. He had a good game during the first meeting (17-4-3) and I expect him to match that production or be slightly since, you know, he kinda pads the stats against sub-.500 teams. Al Thornton is no spring chicken when it comes to athleticism and skill, but he's playing for the Clippers so I'm giving the whities to RJ.

Advantage: Spurs


Al Thornton
Al-Thletic

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Tim Duncan
Clutch Bag

Power Forward

He damn should be in the MVP discussion if our record becomes much, much better. For now, we should just look beyond that award and enjoy TD's brilliance.

Advantage: Spurs


Marcus Camby
Shot Swatter Extraordinaire

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Antonio McDyess
Cruisin' but Bruisin'

Center

Antonio hasn't done much offensively with his silky smooth J, but you gotta give it to his hustle and tenacity on the boards. I don't know why, but I'm not complaining just yet. Pop has been able to manage Dice's minutes well, too, as he's been only averaging 21 mpg. Kaman, on the other hand, gets the nod here because I think he's just younger and more talented offensively now than McDyess.

Advantage: Clippers


Chris Kaman
Caveman Is Gone

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George Hill
The New Karate Kid

Bench & Role Players

Our bench is still all sorts of deep even with the Red Rocket out (get well soon, Matty!). Let's hope Pop gives the MHs (Malik Hairston and Marcus Haislip) some burn and experience. We might need them sometime down the road. Also, Haislip has officially been activated.

Advantage: Spurs


Rasual Butler
Tracy Morgan Impersonator

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Gregg Popovich
Homeless Man Ancestor

Coach

I could say a lot of bad things about Dunleavy, but I'll let you read what our fellow SB Nation blog Clips Nation has to say instead:

Dunleavy is overly arrogant and stubborn. His in-game decisions seem to be based more on stats and paper matchups, when he should be more sensitive to the flow of the game and the shifts in momentum. His failure to do so has cost the Clippers many close games, and it will inevitably contribute to future losses against teams they should beat.

Daaamn. Now are you happy we have Pop?

Advantage: Spurs


Mike Dunleavy
Fire Him
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

I don't think we'll take this thing lightly after we nearly got ambushed by the Pacers.

Advantage: Spurs

Mojo

On a positive note, the comeback win over the Pacers will help us in clutch situations against tougher opponents. That being said, we had no business being in a close game with an Indiana team missing its biggest star.

Advantage: Spurs

Winner

The theme for the next few games is to pad the win column, but this Clips team remain dangerous and could have gotten some confidence after seeing us falter a bit in the last game. The Spurs should exercise caution and at the same time, show no mercy.

Prediction: Spurs win (after our last game, I don't even want to speculate if it will be close or not)

Keys To The Game

  • Avoid Third Quarter Collapse - Oh, TQC, why must you haunt us so? Leave us alone.
  • Contain Baron Davis - Say what you want about him being a ballhog or trigger-happy, but Boom Dizzle sparks this team. He can make his teammates better if he wants to, and he'll always be a threat to explode any game if he just has his head screwed on rightly. He played well against the Spurs last time even after coming off the bench (due to the flu, I think), so it'll be interesting if he can do more damage now that he'll start.
  • Turnovers - We only had eight the last game. Let's try to build on that.

Last Time They Met

The Spurs beat the Clips just a week ago, on the road, with a score of 115-90. We had balance scoring from the team, with 6 guys scoring in double digits and 2 others scoring 8 points. It'll be good to lighten Timmy's load a bit.

Strength of Schedule

The every-other-day saga continues. A win would be imperative to get the momentum coming into Wednesday's showdown when the Blazers come to town.

The Clippers came off a nail-biting win themselves, edging out the Sixers the same day we slipped past the Pacers. They are on their 4th game of a six-game roadie, and came all the way from the City of Brotherly Love with only a day's rest. Tough.

Some Other Reading


Clippers

Clips Nation - The Clippers SBN blog is a very good site, run by Steve Perrin. It's amazing that he does everything on his own, and I'm sure the Clippers fans appreciate his hard work.
Clipper Blog - The TrueHoop affiliate blog for the Clippers. Doesn't hold a candle to 48MoH.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: The standard I compare all TrueHoops blogs to. TBDTNOTP - The Best Damn TrueHoop Network Out There, Period.
Project Spurs: Part of the Bloguin network, and with plenty of great posts. Check out their Podcast!

Other Things of Possible Interest

In case you missed this, here's Baron Davis with his buddy Steve Nash spoofing the Step Brothers movie. Stevie does bring the hilarity and the dance moves, too.


Where to Tune In

TV

This game is not on national TV, so for those of you staying at home, you might want to read on below...

Online

As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to dmenendez@gmail.com for more assistance.

Spurs League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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