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Game 7 Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers

The Spurs and Clippers' incredible undercard matchup is going the full 12 rounds. San Antonio has more than a puncher's chance to advance, but it'll have to tighten up issues on defense and offense in order to pull it off on the road.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio SpursLos Angeles Clippers

Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
May 2, 2015, 7:00 PM Spurs Time

Sometimes frustration lies not in if you go down, but how. Taking care of those things that are under your control is what often makes the end result more palatable. Kinda like the first and last Rocky films.

San Antonio is hoping this series has more of a Rocky II ending. Or Rocky III, IV or V. Over the Top, even.

For that to happen, it'll need more of the same from the bench in Game 6 (specifically Marco Belinelli and Boris Diaw), plus a significantly more spirited showing from its starters. Danny's still not hitting his shots and when the starting backcourt's continued struggles compound with an ice-cold night for Kawhi, even 40 unexpected points from Marco and Bobo can't make up the difference.

The first six games of their first-round barnburner have been everything that Spurs fans expected dreaded it would be, and everything casual fans hoped it would be. The Clippers' best has shone at times, and so has the Spurs'. When the former happens, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are brawlers throwing impressive blows to San Antonio's venerable midsection. When it's the latter, the Spurs' calculated moves overwhelm the physical superiority of their opponents.

Tony's a half-step too slow right now to be a consistent threat and put pressure on the LA D. In Game 5, a number of 1-2 pick-and-rolls freed him from Chris Paul and gave him more room to operate. If Pop can't find ways to make the most of him, throwing some more minutes Patty's way wouldn't be a bad gamble.

Gambles have been a part of Pop's strategy all series, and he'll put his trust in them again in Game 7, whether it be putting DeAndre Jordan on the line or simply playing Manu Ginobili. Punters in Las Vegas will be sweating every jab and uppercut thrown at the MGM Grand tonight, but down Interstate 15 in Los Angeles, a grizzled gamer will watch his gambit play out.

The Clippers dominated the midrange again in Game 6 to make up for yet another cold night from three-point distance. San Antonio's had great success (and some luck) chasing guys from their spots, but Paul and Griffin have just been spectacular from 18 feet.

LA has played with a very limited rotation, and they might be without Big Baby tonight after he went down with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter of Game 6. I would never say his absence is a deciding factor in a series, but it will force Doc to give another man 5-10 important minutes. Davis has been able to metabolize those into some much-needed energy for his team, but they've not returned much when Hedo Turkoglu or Spencer Hawes have been inserted.

Apparently there's an important fight happening the same night as Game 7. If you frequent this blog, it's likely you have your priorities in order. If you don't then hopefully all the boxing puns have put you off the sport just in time to watch the last round of this incredible matchup -- and hopefully not the last instance the Spurs as we've known them lace 'em up.

There will be time to reflect and eulogize and talk legacy later. But the bottom line for now is the Spurs have some fight in them and won't give up the championship belt easily.

Matchup to watch: Everything -- Game 7's a full-on melee. Father Time vs. Tim Duncan. Duncan vs. DeAndre. DeAndre vs. Pop. Pop vs. Doc. Doc vs. the refs. My sanity vs. every shot of Steve Ballmer.

Game 7, Western Conference 1st Round, 2015 NBA Playoffs
Regular Season: 55-27 (22-19 road)
Playoffs: 3-3 (2-1 away)

Regular Season: 56-26 (30-11 home)
Playoffs: 3-3 (1-2 home)
May 2, 2015
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
7:00 pm CST
TV: TNT - Radio: 1200 WOAI
Tony Parker PG Chris Paul
Danny Green SG J.J. Redick
Kawhi Leonard SF Matt Barnes
Tiago Splitter PF Blake Griffin
Tim Duncan C DeAndre Jordan
Advanced Stats
93.8 (17th) Pace 94.7 (10th)
108.5 (7th) ORtg 112.4 (1st)
102.4 (2nd) DRtg 105.5 (15th)

The perspective of Clippers fans can be found here: Clips Nation.

Game Prediction:Spurs by 2.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment:

Tel: 210-444-5607 |