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San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers - The Game Thread

A preview. Not that they deserve one.

Long before there was John Hollinger. Long before there was Long before we had pace factors and rebound rates. We had Statis Pro Basketball from Avalon Hill. Avalon Hill made table top strategy games way back in the day. Diplomacy, sports, they did it all. My buddy had the 1978 NBA version.

The setup was pretty straightforward. A player's stats for the year were translated to the special Statis-Pro numbering system -- basically base 8 -- and you used a huge stack of cards with random numbers and events on it to play a game. You were the coach.

There were only 3 numbers on a player card that REALLY mattered. FG%, Secondary FG%, Rebound. FG% was (is) a basic conversion. The player's rebound number was rebounds per 100 minutes. Or rebounds per minutes * 100. So, if you played 30 minutes a game and grabbed 10 rebounds, your rebound number was 33. The higher the better, obviously. It was the secondary FG% that made things interesting and that was somewhat arbitrary. The secondary FG% was determined by points per game. If you averaged over 15 points per game, then you didn't have a secondary FG%. They provided a table that translated any points per game below 15 to a %. If your secondary % was higher than your FG%, it got thrown out.

How was the secondary % used? Well, it determined when you could shoot. If the player was passed the ball by a teammate, then he shot at his FG%. If he was the initial player to have the ball on the possession, he had to shoot on his secondary. I guess you could think of it as his ability to create his own shot. The game was a lot more fun to play if you had a lot of guys without a secondary FG% or, at least, one very close to his FG%.

This system was as decent as any for creating a game. What really threw a kink into things were injuries and teams with balanced scoring. Why do I bring this up? The 2008-2009 Clippers are Statis Pro Kings.

They have 4 guys averaging over 15 points per game -- Randolph, Thornton, Davis, Gordon; and 2 guys just under -- Kaman and Mobley. They also have Camby and his great rebound rate. Kaman has a good rebound rate. Randolph isn't terrible. Just a quick eyeballing of the stats tells me that they have 5 guys that would shoot without a secondary and that Kaman's secondary would be as good or better than Baron's and Mobley's and thus worth shooting on. The 08-09 Clippers may be a lousy team, but they would be a fun one to play with.

We played a lot of 1978 Statis Pro Basketball. So much so that I could tell you where almost all those guys went to college for many years after. That's just the beginning of the story though. My geekdom knows almost no bounds...

Game Time: 9:30 Spurs Time, 1:30 am Argentina
5:30 am Egypt, 4:30 am CET
12:30 pm Perth, Japan, Philippines
1:30 pm Guam

TV: Kens 5
Officials: Delaney

47 no sec
Tim Duncan
52 no sec
Michael Finley


35 no sec

43 no sec

52 and 36

48 no sec

42 no sec
images via
20-8 Home 8-22
19-11 Road 7-23
97.2 Offense 95.1
93.7 Defense 103.4
46.4 FG% 43.6
39.5 3-pt% 34.8
77.0 FT% 74.5
40.8 Rebounds 40.3
12.2 TO's 14.9
6-4 Last 10 4-6
L 2 Streak L 2


  • Point Guard - Baron has been shooting a little better the last 5 games going 31-67 (46%) to get his shooting % up to 36% for the season. Tony has been up and down. Down for the last two games. I'm guessing he'll be up this game. Nothing to base that on. Just a guess.
  • Off Guard - Roger returns to the site of his first game winner. His shooting, and especially shot selection, have left a little to be desired lately. Ricky Davis is still Ricky Davis. I think it would be hard to call it shot "selection".
  • Center - I know you are saying to yourself, "ATS, you gave the edge to Camby? Is this one of those negatvie mojo previews?" No. If Tim plays with the kind of energy and lack of health he did last night, then Camby is better.
  • Power Forward - Zach is going to flat out murder Bonner in the low block. Matt, on the other hand, should be shooting like it is practice with nobody covering him.
  • Small Forward - Please.
  • Bench - Yeah, Manu is hurt. But, the first four off the Clippers bench are Mike Taylor, Brian Skinner, Alex Acker, Steve Novak.
  • Coach - See Matthew's post.
  • Intangibles - We are in a SEGABABA and have played like complete dog ass the last two games. The Clippers played 5 games in 7 days last week.
  • Mojo - The Clippers have to be last in the NBA in mojo.
  • Winner - Clippers by 8.

Keys To The Game

  • Energy - What the hell? Could we have looked flatter and less capable of playing a good team? The Blazers game was just embarrassing in that respect.
  • Points in the Paint - Will we get any? Will we be able to slow down Randolph? My answers: Yes, a few. Nope.
  • The Big Two - Tony and Tim will both have to play well on the offensive end for us. I say we have about a 40% chance of that happening.

Some other reading

  • Clips Nation Clipper Steve does a good game preview. He's not a hack like me.

Other Things of Possible Interest

Game feeds

Check this game thead at gametime for specific links to good quality feeds. If you arrive late in the game, the game feed links are usually among the first 50 posts of the thread.
OneNation (This is an archive of NBA games, but it hasn't been updated lately.)
BitTorrent Davka (A torrent site where you will find most of the latest games in the league. Bookmark.)