Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. L.A. Clippers

USA TODAY Sports

The AT&T Center welcomes the Los Angeles Clippers.


I have spent most of my life studying the lives of other peoples - faraway peoples - so that Americans might better understand themselves." - Margaret Mead

Change "Americans" in the above quote to "Pounders" and this was my mantra for the past week. The victims people I decided to study were those who reside in the Clips Nation. I have visited other sites in the past. Most of the blogs at SBNation are excellent and entertaining, even for the most enthusiastic of homers. However, I have yet to intensively study one. Any anthropological study consists of three stages. They are observation, participation, and analysis. So, with my notebook and mosquito spray in hand, I ventured over to the Clips Nation.

Observation

My observation began with the Clippers versus Nets game wrap-up. The Clippers won this one and put themselves in a position to obtain the 3-seed in the playoffs. The article highlighted key events in the game and summarized what needs to happen in order for the Clips to obtain the magic number 3. I then read an article about Chris Paul's flop warning. They were both well written articles that included pertinent information. To be honest though, it didn't offer much in the way of cultural revelations. Who is the Clipsnation? In order to figure that out I needed to scroll down a bit and look at the comments.

Totally OT but Florida Gulf Coast is really entertaining to watch. They are like the Clippers of college basketball, lob city.- chrisd

The Gulf Goast Florida HolyCrapAreTheyAwesomeOrWhat Eagles throw lobs and so do the L.A. Clippers. Some might say they both have a penchant for lobs. (I disagree with the whole "lob city" thing, the lob is an option consistently "on the table" for many good teams, so whatever.) However, comparing a low major NCAA team that came from nowhere to an NBA team is like comparing apples to capitalism. Of course, I don't blame chrisd. Who wouldn't want to be compared to the FGCU Eagles? They are cool. This comment also got me thinking. Which NCAA team is similar to the Spurs? The Spurs have the best coach in the game, focus on team ball, and are consistently a threat to win it all. Brace yourselves Pounders: the Spurs are the Duke Blue Devils of the NBA.

The Bottom Line. That's the bottom line. If Chauncey is his former self, the Clips can get out of the West and Vinny's right to give him every chance. Otherwise, it's second round.- PreciousPresent

Alright, so I will admit that a healthy Mr. Big Shot on the Clippers is indeed a worrisome concept. I assume his ceiling is the role that Jesus Shuttlesworth is playing on the Miami Heat. This is not good news if you are not a Clippers fan. That being said, the missing piece to a finals appearance? That seems to be a bit of an exaggeration of Mr. Billup's impact at this point in time.

I'm honestly very surprised Manu hasn't gotten one ( a flop warning) Love him as a player, but he is honestly one of the worst floppers.- Chris McD

I wanted to get mad at that. If Manu hasn't received a warning this year, then there is a reason. Read: he hasn't been flopping much this year. However, Chris McD redeemed himself by saying "love him as a player", so no harm no foul. (Side note: ninety nine percent of the time "no harm no foul" could also be said after Chris Paul hits the hardwood... zing)

Participation

There was one aspect of posting a comment on another blog that made me nervous. It is the subject line. I am still unsure of how to use that thing. Do you treat it like the title of an essay ? Do you just use it to start a comment? Or do you use the bold lettering to again make your case that The Social Network totally got robbed by The King's Speech at the 2010 Academy Awards. I really don't know, so I opted for just putting "Spurs Fan Here" in the title of all my comments. Then there were the questions to think about. Trolling is not exactly non-intrusive observation, therefore I couldn't ask something like, "Are the Clips a lottery team without Chris Paul?" ( For the record: the Clips are probably a playoff team without Chris Paul.) So I stuck with some basic questions on the Monday NBAction open thread. The following are some excerpts from that conversation.

Spurs fan here. Which member of the Clippers would benefit most from being bit by a werewolf?- Wes Thorne (Izee)

"Ronny Turiaf's towel waving ability will increase 100,000 times after the bite... whenever the Clippers make a good play, his towel wave will start avalanches in the Rocky Mountains, thunder storms in Saturn, and it will impregnate Skip Bayless."- twistedwrister

Spurs fan here: Do you like sharing the Staples Center with the Lakers, or is it something that is a sore point for Clipper's fans?

"Well... love Staples as a venue, it is frustrating but understandable that there are just as many or more Lakers fans in the stands when we play them as the ‘home' team, A reason many people would pick the Lakers over us in postseason even if we were the higher seed. Also a big debate- should we hang a division title banner this year? Might look really pathetic next to all those Laker title banners, retired numbers, but i'm in the camp that wants it anyway. Get some felt up there to show the Clips are on the winning track (and proof that we exist during non-Clipper games at Staples)" - Cassellmania

Spurs fan here. If the NBA playoffs were a scrabble tournament, which player from your team would you choose to represent the Clippers?

"to answer all board game related questions. Scrabble - CP , Monopoly - DJ , Twister - Jamal, Jenga - Blake, trivia pursuit - Grant, Mouse Trap - Caron, Sorry - Bledsoe , Trouble - Barnes" - osamu

Analysis:

The Clippers fans were cool. We might be of a different tribe, but at the end of the day the division is not all that deep. All in all the comments weren't very different from comments on other sites including PtR. The Clippers fans consider their team a contender. Is that surprising? They are a solid team lead by one of the best poing guards in the game. I am of the opinion that a certain team out west wearing silver and black could handle the Clippers in a best of seven series. However, look at the website in your browser. Mad thanks to all those at ClipsNation for a good time.

Game Analysis:

If this were a scrabble game, I sure do like the Spur's chances. Their representative would undoubtedly be the loquacious Tim Duncan, but then there is the possibility of Stephen Jackson who would make each game last a century. "How is trillness not in the dictionary? I think we need another dictionary. Someone go and get another dictionary." If Captain Jack were to draw a z at the right moment then the game could be over with one word.

Alas the Spurs have to play the Clippers in basketball tonight, and this could be a nasty one. The Heat game is sure to garner more press, and that is understandable. When teams with the best records in their respective conferences go at it , the media is sure to pay attention. (Even without a win streak on the line.) However, this game will certainly have a bigger impact on the playoff picture. If the Spurs really want the first seed, then I see them winning a tough game against a hungry team also playing for seeding. So this late in the season, it all comes down to who wants it more. Let's hope the Spurs do.

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tiago Splitter
C: Tim Duncan

Key Bench Players
Manu Ginobili
Boris Diaw
Stephen Jackson

Head Coach
Gregg Popovich

Lineups

Starters
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Chauncey Billups
SF: Caron Butler
PF: Blake Griffin
C: DeAndre Jordan

Key Bench Players
Jamal Crawford
Matt Barnes
Eric Bledsoe

Head Coach
Vinny Del Negro

The Clipper's perspective can be found here @ ClipsNation

Get your San Antonio Spurs tickets here!

Game Prediction: Spurs by 11.

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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