clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Clippers

New, comments

The Spurs kick off the second "half" of their season in the Staples Center against LA's finest.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Clippers

Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
February 18, 2016, 9:30 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: TNT Radio: 1200 AM WOAI

For the second year in a row, Blake Griffin has fallen midseason to a devastating injury. And for the second year in a row, Chris Paul, J.J. Redick and DeAndre Jordan have willed a rag-tag group of washed-up scrubs to stunning success.

Yes, the Clippers are 18-5 without Griffin. Some have even argued that the Clippers are their best selves without their high-flying superstar. Let's cool our jets a bit. That record is deceiving. LA has 3 nice wins (at Indiana and Atlanta, and at home against Chicago) over this 23 game stretch, and some horrific losses to the Kings and Wolves at home. Aside from this, they've won against the lesser teams and lost to the better ones. The level of competition hasn't exactly been elite.

Tonight is as good a night as any for the Clippers to prove that they belong in - or at least can beat for one night - the NBA's highest tier. For Doc's team to have a chance in this one, his stars need to step up to the plate. Their hodge-podge big three of Paul, Redick and Jordan have all regularly given Pop fits as the second, third and fourth options. It'll be interesting to see where the offense comes from for the Clippers without their usual focus of attack.

Matchup to watch: I'm going to cop out here and give 2 answers:

1a) Parker vs. Paul: This isn't quite the matchup that it was just a few years ago, but it should still be a pleasure to watch. Parker and Paul may be close friends off the court, but they always give each other their best, come gametime.

1b) Battle of the benches: The Clippers bench stinks on ice. They're flat out terrible. They have the 6th worst FG% and 5th worst 3-point FG% in the league. Now with Griffin and Austin Rivers injured, the depth chart has gotten all sorts of wonky and... hey we might get an extended Jeff Ayres sighting! The San Antonio backups haven't looked great since Manu went down. This is the perfect opportunity for the bench to build some confidence against one of the league's weakest units.

@

San Antonio Spurs

(Record: 45-8)

Los Angeles Clippers

(Record: 35-18)

February 18, 2016

Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

9:30 PM CDT

TV: TNT

Starters

Tony Parker

PG

Chris Paul

Danny Green

SG

J.J. Redick

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Paul Pierce

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

Tim Duncan

C

DeAndre Jordan

Game prediction: Spurs by 8.

For the Clippers' perspective, visit Clips Nation.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.