NBA Playoff Series Preview and Pick: Los Angeles Clippers vs San Antonio Spurs
The Los Angeles Clippers were fresh off of a Game 7 victory in Memphis against the Grizzlies when they had to instantly head to San Antonio to take on the top seeded Spurs in an intense second round match-up between the two teams. Game 1 didn't go well for the Los Angeles Clippers as they were knocked off by 16 points to kick off the series, which some people expected, as the Clippers were actually 11 point underdogs in that game. Game 2 went the same way though, as the Clips were once again knocked off in impressive fashion by the Spurs, losing by 17 this time. All things being equal, the Clippers now get to go back home to the Staples Center to continue this series, and the home court advantage is much needed after starting out the series down 2-0 and in desperate need of a big win to get things rolling before it's too late.
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The Clippers badly need to get Chris Paul going, as Paul had 6 points, 10 assists, and 5 turnovers in Game 1, and followed that up with 10 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 8 turnovers in Game 2. Obviously this is a major cause for concern for the Clippers because as Chris Paul goes, the Clippers go. He'll need to cut the turnovers down and overall just do a better job of scoring, because his scoring of 6 and 10 points is obviously far below his average, and the team won't be able to win any games unless he is able to get that number up quite a bit. Blake Griffin had a solid Game 1 with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists, and in Game 2 he scored 20 points, but was nowhere to be found on the glass, pulling in only one rebound throughout the entire game.
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Probably the most impressive thing to this point of the series has been the Spurs combination of really just everyone stepping up. While Tim Duncan had a dominant Game 1, the scoring is coming from every direction and the team is showing why they were the number one team in the Western Conference, and also why they are one of the favorites to take down the NBA Championship this year. No matter who the Spurs are up against they are going to have their hands full because of the team's ability to score with multiple different players and also to move the ball around consistently to find the open player as well. This team was called "too old" to start the season, but now they look like one of the most fresh teams in the NBA.
While I'd love to say that the Los Angeles Clippers are capable of making a comeback in this series, I just can't see it happening. The Spurs are too well-coached and well-rounded in general, and I don't see any way that the Clippers are going to be able to stop the Spurs offense. I think that Los Angeles will be able to win one game in the Staples Center, but that it's going to be the Spurs taking down the series in five games and then getting prepared for a Western Conference Finals match-up against either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Los Angeles Lakers.
Pick: San Antonio Spurs in Five Games