Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles Clippers

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles Clippers

AT&T Center
11/19/12, 7:30pm Spurs Time
TV: LP, FSSW,PRIME - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI, KFWB

The San Antonio Spurs take on the Los Angeles Clippers tonight at 7:30 pm at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Clippers are coming off of two victories over two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference: the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat. The Spurs have recently beaten the Denver Nuggets at home but lost the previous game against the New York Knicks at home.

Spurs look to rebound against Clippers

The first meeting against the Los Angeles Clippers, November 7th, being on the Clippers home court, was a game the Spurs would, like the plague, forget and avoid again. Only two players, Tim Duncan 10 points and Danny Green 12 points, scored in double digits while the Clippers had seven players accomplishing the carbon equivalent. Spurs were dominated on the boards 46 to 29, along with an array of dunks and points in the paint (54 to 32), fueled by 20 Spur turnovers, all the while DeAndre Jordan, 20pts. 11 boards 4 blocks and 2 steals, looked the part of an all star.

Nursing the Afflicted (Role & Players)

Stephen Jackson, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan all had less than healthy performances in that first meeting. Were the early symptoms of a flu like bug reason they didn't play as effectively as used to witnessing? The following road games saw role players delivering some of their best performances of the season while filling in for the sick. Patty Mills in the Kings game and Gary Neal in the Blazers game provided relief for the infirmed roster while the Spurs returned with a 3 and 1 road trip record after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers on November 13th.

Twelve Days Later

In order for the Spurs to combat an all out frontal assault by Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Tiago Splitter may be employed next to Tim Duncan as was implemented against the Lakers. Though improved rebounding may not be the case in that situation, the overall interior defense against the Clippers may prove to be worth Tiago activated in such a role to help minimize a repeat infection of stuffitis, which during that first game, appeared to be no known cure. If in a reserve role, DeJuan Blair will need to dominate in rebounding while the first team is resting. A feat we all know he can exhibit. Especially against a less than imposing bench when the Clippers insert their second unit post players of Lamar Odom, Ronnie Turiaf or Ryan Hollins.

Above notable is Boris Diaw. An intricate member of this Spurs team, whether starting or off the bench, his PhD like approach to the game helps any cohort on the floor play efficient basketball. As for Bonner, he just may see time in this game. Hitting those well executed trajectories of orange projectiles swishing through nylon netting like medicine coursing through veins would not only provide relief in scoring from deep, but also may help divert the Clippers bigs away from the rim. Honestly, anything to ease the dominance the Clippers have shown in the post would be alright by me no matter how, or with whom, the Spurs addressed the situation.

Establishing Perimeter Dominance

One might tend to perceive, rest assured, pun intended, Parker to bounce back from his ill fated exploits of that last go round. Tony surmised one of his worst performances by committing 4 turnovers, connecting on only 2 of 7 attempts, and scoring only 4 points. We all know Chris Paul is an all star PG, but something tells me Parker might provide, this time, a statement game to show his last efforts against CP3 was an anomaly. Parker seems to be fully recovered from his previous bout of illness, and performing once again like an elite leader of Spurs basketball.

If Danny Green has as much positive influence as he's recently recorded, the Spurs are secured at the 2G position for this rematch. "Verde", a name dubbed by his fans, has been one of the most consistent players this year sporting a 3P% at .457, 2P% at .545, and second on the team in steals at 1.2 per game. While in the last game between these two talented teams, his counter part of the same last name, Willie, may have connected on 5 of 5 shooting, doesn’t provide what Danny produces across the board. Green (Danny) should once again have a similar result against Green (Willie) in this next meeting. In either case, Danny may be called upon to lift his defense to a higher level being Leonard won't be participating.

With Kawhi Leonard out 10 to 14 games treating tendonitis, Stephen Jackson, against Denver, boldly, as only Jack can do, provided a smooth transplant to the starting SF role, while the "old" Manu Ginobili was visibly rejuvenated as if drinking from the fountain of youth with his breakout game against those same Nuggets. It appeared there was to be no recurrence of back issues for Manu even after taking a hard fall early in the first half as he continued to perform at a "GINOBLY" level the rest of the game.

Establishing a Role

It was during that last affair the Clippers bench of Matt Barnes, Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe scored in double figures, which caused as much damage as the Clippers starting five dominating the inside. Whoever is called upon, and however the rotations decided, the Spurs bench must not allow the secondary sail of the Clippers to catch full wind. Limiting the opposing magistrates off the pine to half the total amounts from the previous encounter would have kept the game within reach while, at the same time; Spurs improving their poor offense production to above 41.4% may have afforded them the win.

So, there you have it. If it's true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Spurs defense will have to prevent another Clipper offensive outbreak. To weather themselves to victory, the Spurs will need to rebound from more than their off the glass deficiencies, and the loss of Leonard. It'll have to be a game every player, from starters thru role players, administering a shot of fortitude, along with an elixir of stamina, which enables them to score the points needed to defeat this viral opponent.

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Stephen Jackson
PF: Tim Duncan
C: DeJuan Blair

Key Bench Players
Manu Ginobili
Tiago Splitter
Gary Neal

Head Coach
Gregg Popovich

Lineups

Starters
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Willie Green
SF: Caron Butler
PF: Blake Griffin
C: DeAndre Jordan

Key Bench Players
Matt Barnes
Jamal Crawford
Eric Bledsoe

Head Coach

Vinny Del Negro

Los Angeles Clippers perspective can be found here: Clips Nation

Game Prediction: A healthier performance than before resulting in a 9 point Spurs win. Vegas says Spurs by 4.5

Referees Assigned:

Bill Kennedy
Karl Lane
Leroy Richardson

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and 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.

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