2012-13 NBA Game Of The Week: Week 2 Clippers V Spurs
GAME TIME & VIEWING OPTIONS:
Time & Date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 2:30pm AEDT
Location: Staples Centre, Los Angeles.
FORM HEADING IN:
San Antonio: 3-0.
The Spurs have started the season off with three wins. They got off to a shaky start against New Orleans, but ended up getting the road win 99-95.
Next up was Utah and the return of Manu Ginobili. The Spurs had a great start only to let Utah back in and at the end of the third quarter it was all tied up. The Spurs had a good last quarter and ended up winning 110-100.
Los Angeles: 2-1.
The Clippers first match against Memphis was a good one. They were behind at the end of the third quarter but outscored Memphis 28-15 in the last and went onto win 101-92.
The Battle of L.A was a huge confidence building win for the Clippers. What it means for the Clippers franchise and fans to beat the Lakers can’t be underestimated. The final score was 105-95.
Full of confidence the Clippers played Golden State. They got off to a slow start and couldn’t recover. They trailed most of the night. The final score was 110-114.
MATCH UP OF THE NIGHT:
After what Duncan did to Serge Ibaka (watch in our video section), it seems he might be able to come close to matching Griffin in the air. Duncan is the old fashioned power forward who goes hard all day long and doesn’t have one distinct weakness, whereas Griffin is the young and flashy player who is known for dunks but also being a flopper.
The one who gets to the basket the most and the easiest will have a huge say in the outcome of this match.
IMPROVEMENT IS NEEDED:
The main facet of their game that San Antonio needs to improve is their free throw percentage. Against New Orleans they shot a dismal 65.4% from the line and then against Oklahoma City they improved ever so slightly to 68.8%. That percentage did rise to 82.6% against Utah. If San Antonio can convert more of their free throws it will go a long way to keeping themselves ahead of L.A.
The Clippers need to cut down on their turnovers. They were ranked 23rd in the league last week. DeAndre Jordan is averaging nearly 3.5 turnovers per game. That is too many for a player who isn’t handling the ball that much.
Jamal Crawford has been a revelation coming off the bench for L.A. His off-season move from the Trailblazers to the Clippers has meant in the three games so far he has upped his points per game from 14 to 25.7 and he has also lowered his turnover rate from 1.9pg to 0.7pg.
Eric Bledsoe is another very important player coming off the bench for the Clippers. Backing up Paul at the point guard position is a tough gig but he seems to coping just fine. He may only be on the court for 15 minutes a match, but in those 15 minutes he has averaged 9 points, 1 steal and just over 2 rebounds.
Spurs’ back up power forward, Stephen Jackson has been honourable when it is his turn on the court. The veteran of 12 NBA seasons has fought hard against younger opponents. His offensive game may have dropped off over the years, but he can still grab his fair share of critical rebounds.
San Antonio back-up point guard Gary Neal has been great when Parker is resting on the bench. Neal is averaging 7 points, 2.7 assists and less than 1 turnover in 15 minutes of playing time. This is bad news for Aussie Patty Mills though, with Neal doing so well this means very limited minutes for him at the point guard position.
Mills has only averaged 4 minutes in the two games he has played in. It doesn’t seem likely for him to get much time at the shooting guard position either, where he is now third in line behind starter Danny Green and Manu Ginobili who has returned from a back injury.
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UPS:
San Antonio Spurs
- Point guard: Tony Parker
- Shooting guard: Danny Green
- Small forward: Kawhi Leonard
- Power forward: Tim Duncan
- Center: Boris Diaw
Los Angeles Clippers:
- Point guard: Chris Paul
- Shooting guard: Danny Green
- Small forward: Caron Butler
- Power forward: Blake Griffin
- Center: DeAndre Jordan
Across the board these two teams are very even. In no position is there what looks to be a game winning match up. I am expecting this to be a closely contested game with tight defence all night. I can’t see either team getting a many easy baskets; I wouldn’t be surprised with lots of hard fouls resulting in free throws. I think the Spurs will be within striking distance all night and then take the lead in the last quarter and hang on for the tough win.
My prediction: Spurs – 96 Clippers – 92
Who do you have winning this match?