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Game 21 Preview: LA Clippers @ SA

Man, you lose one game to the Hawks and all hell breaks loose. The Sickness is sidelined for at least the rest of the week after another practice injury. He stepped on somebody's foot (hmm, wonder who that could be) and "stretched the ligaments across the mid-portion of the top of his foot." This, of course, is the same foot with the bone bruise. Wonderful. Listen Pop, encase the man in bubble wrap and wait for the playoffs.

The French Layup Machine has a bruised left knee that he sustained against the Hawks, and to top it all off Tim Duncan has the dreaded plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Yesterday he received an injection in his heel to mitigate the swelling but he will probably play tonight.

Tonight's starting lineups:

LAC (14-6, 5-4 away)
PG Sam Cassell
SG Cuttino Mobley
SF Quinton Ross!
PF Elton Brand
C Chris Kaman

SA (16-4, 9-1 home)
PG The French Layup Machine
SG Michael Finley
SF Bruce Bowen
PF Tim Duncan
C Rasho Nesterovic

Tonight marks the Clips first game this year against one of the Texas triumvirate. They've benefited from a fairly easy schedule with only 8 of 20 games against playoff teams from last year (13 of 20 for the Spurs). Elton Brand has been putting up ridiculous numbers so far: 25.5 PPG on 17.4 FGA, 55.1 FG%, 10.8 RPG and 2.9 BPG. And he's only 26, which makes me feel very, very old.

LAC will likely be without Corey Maggette tonight. Losing 20+ points a night is obviously a big deal. His absence is especially crucial tonight because it will allow Bruce to slide over onto Mobley, leaving Finley free to concentrate on replacing Manu's offense. Also, this should prevent the "we didn't have Manu" excuse. The Spurs should want to make a statement after being outscored by 16 points during the second half at ATL.

Tonight's line: SA -7.5
Tonight's total: 182.5
My pick: SA
Matty da Blade's plays: SA | Over
The Spurs are 9-11 this year ATS. I am 6-13. Da Blade is 10-8-1 ATS | 6-5 TOT.