Playoff Round 2 Game 4 Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers

San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles Clippers

Game 4, Staples Center
Sunday, May 20, 2012, 9:30 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: TNT - RADIO: 1200 WOAI, 1350 KCOR

I have to admit, previewing games this late in the playoffs is kind of like trying to describe the nuances of Angelina Jolie to Brad Pitt. He already knows, but I'm going to give it the good old college try. We all know the opponent that several hundred other people have discussed ad nauseum. We all know the score of the series and we all know the stakes. So join me as I ramble on about something we already know about.

The last time these Spurs won a title was 2007. I got married in early May of 2007 and proceeded to watch the playoffs a lot, much to my bride's dismay. Between you and me, I even caught games during our honeymoon. Of course being the wise young groom that I was, I saw no problem with that, but that's a whole other story. From that blissful time I would spend the rest of 2007 and a good portion of 2008 assuming that my marriage was the good luck charm the Spurs needed to never lose again.

Needless to say that was not the case. The Spurs couldn't overcome a Lakers comeback in Game 1 of the WCF (the first full playoff game I didn't see since being married) and then a series of terrible refereeing in 2008. To make matters worse, I attended the first game of the 1st round series with Dallas in 2009. The Spurs lost the game and the series. Clearly something in my union of wedded bliss was throwing off the groove of the silver and black. The 2010 playoffs didn't go much better. So in 2011 the Spurs start off amazing, I find out that my wife is with child, so that must be it! I just needed to get the family started and things would fall back into place.

My daughter was born in early April and things began to crumble. Of course I don't blame her, she's amazing! However, the Spurs finished the season sluggishly and Manu got hurt. We all know what happened in the playoffs. What the duce basketball gods?! I marry a girl from San Antonio (never mind that her family are Laker fans...I know, I know), I write for PtR...or at least put words up on the internet and I am instrumental in brining a future Spurs fan into the world. What more can I do?!

As I ponder that loaded question, the 2011-12 season starts off and the Spurs start off slowly at 12-9. Then it happens, we find out my wife is yet with child again*. This time, it's a boy! Now, I'm not claiming that my son will be the savior of all things Spurs, but it is strange that since we've known about him the Spurs are on a crazy roll. On top of that his name will be Timothy. I'm not even kidding**. The boy is probably the best thing to happen to the city of San Antonio since the 1997 draft. I'm just saying. Clearly all of the Spurs success this year is due to my unborn son. You should all be thanking my wife who is taking care of the little fella to insure success for our Spurs.

*The timing may not have been right at the 12-9 mark, but it was close so I'm taking it. **His name will really be Timothy, named after my father not Duncan (that probably cost me some Spurs brownie points among the basketball gods there).

In all seriousness though, this team is incredible. I have a hard time remembering what I had for dinner last night (homemade nachos for those of you who are counting), much less the feeling I had when the Spurs last won the title. I remember losses much more than wins, I'm not sure I'm unique in that, but it's those wins that make the losses so much easier to bear. I can't even imagine what it's like being a Clippers fan, I do not envy them, but I know I've been blessed to have guys like Duncan leading my favorite team for 15 years and this run seems all the sweeter. Take a gander at this video (h/t urangatang711) to remember what it is that these guys are aiming for:

As the Spurs have dismantled the Clippers in 3 games they face the difficult task of closing out Lob City. Keep in mind, Utah's best game was Game 4. If the previous games have been any indication the Clippers, to their credit, will not lay down and go quietly into the night. You have to be impressed with the character of these Clippers as far as their unwillingness to lay down. I think that will bode well for them in the future. Overall I have been impressed with the Clippers mentality. Most teams would not have fought as hard as these Clips have.

I fully expect LA to come out with guns a blaze, much like the beginning of game 3. I don't expect the Spurs to only get 11 points however. Despite the fact that this is a back to back, I look for the Spurs to end the series tonight. They'll have over a full day to recover and should get plenty of rest before their next series if they can close it out tonight.

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Boris Diaw

Key Bench Players
Gary Neal
Manu Ginobili
Stephen Jackson

Lineups

Starters
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Randy Foye
SF: Caron Butler
PF: Blake Griffin
C: DeAndre Jordan

Key Bench Players
Kenyon Martin
Mo Williams
Nick Young

NBA Stats Cube Lineup Comparison Here. Los Angeles Clippers perspective can be found at Clips Nation.

Game Prediction: Spurs finish off the Clippers in a close battle.

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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