The San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers will face off Thursday night at the Staples Center, the Western Conference titans will clash in a regular season tilt that promises to be one of the best matchups in the National Basketball Association.
Coming off a fun and eventful All-Star Weekend in Toronto, both teams have had enough rest so expect a big clash between the long list of star players of these two teams. Tomorrow night’s game will be the second of three total meetings in the regular season. Both giants who dominate the league know that from now on with less than 30 games to play, it will get so much harder to win points as the last stretch of the season bears down on them.
Currently, the Spurs are one of the top teams in the league, with only 8 losses they have the second best record, at 45-8, just behind the Golden State Warriors. They signed some big names in the game during the off-season, and since the Spurs have not lost a step. They look dangerous as a title competitor and the team to beat in the West. They will look to add to their already illustrious history as a franchise and try for another championship.
But standing in their way tomorrow night will be the Clippers who are now enjoying themselves as the best team in Cali. They have overtaken their in-state rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers and not looked back. The Lakers right now, are going through some sort of rebuild and redevelopment while the Clippers are uping the pace and trying to become title contenders. They’ve built a 35-18 record so far and they’ve done some of it without their big name player Blake Griffin.
Due to some recent contriversy, Griffin, according to recent reports, could be moved this week at the trade deadline. With the NBA’s trade deadline fast approaching on Thursday, there are many big names on the trading block across the league. No name more than Griffen’s though, has made more waves.
The Clippers have been winning without Griffin, and so it’s possible the trade rumours are true. The initial incident which caused all the hoopla was Griffin’s punching of a team equipment staffer which caused him to break his hand and miss several months of play. It was embarrassing for him and the franchise, and since it seems they have cooled off toward him.
Without their star player, the other big-named players like DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul have excelled in the line-up. The Clippers seem to have the perfect balance of offense and defence and just need to become more consistent when performing, especially against big teams. If they can do that, it will keep them on the winning track.
But no matter how hard they play, it will definitey be an uphill battle against the Spurs, as the Clippers have already been beat by San Antonio earlier in the season, so they know what they’re up against and what they have to do to win.
In that game, a 115-107 win for the Spurs, the Clippers were not able to control the pace. And instead the Spurs bounced back from a deficit to outscore the Clippers by 11 points in the final quarter to get the victory.
The Spurs will look for the win again to add to their well fought and won six-game win-streak. The Spurs are averaging 105 points on 49.1 percent shooting and allowing only 91.8 points on 43.1 percent shooting. Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard is averaging 20.2 points and 2.5 assists while LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 17 points and 8.4 rebounds. Tim Duncan is grabbing 7.5 rebounds and Danny Green is dishing 1.8 assists.
The San Antonio Spurs are shooting 39.3 percent from beyond the arc and 79.7 percent from the free throw line. The Spurs are allowing 31.7 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 44.6 rebounds per game. The San Antonio Spurs have won eight of their last 10 road games. The possible players who won’t make the line-up are Matt Bonner and Tony Parker due to injury.
The Los Angeles Clippers want to find more consistency and stay in their flow after winning 15 of their last 20 games. The Los Angeles Clippers are averaging 104.7 points on 46.2 percent shooting and allowing 100.8 points on 43.7 percent shooting. Chris Paul is averaging 19.3 points and 9.4 assists while J.J. Redick is averaging 16.4 points and 1.4 assists. Jamal Crawford is dishing 2.2 assists and DeAndre Jordan is grabbing 14 rebounds.
The Los Angeles Clippers are shooting 36.1 percent from beyond the arc and 68.9 percent from the free throw line. The Clippers are allowing 34.5 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.4 rebounds per game. Los Angeles has won seven of their last nine home games, so they have a strong advantage.
But will it be enough to put some burs in the Spurs boots? Highly doubtful with the media circus surrounding Griffin’s future.
Our Pick: Spurs over Clippers, 110-107