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  1. #1
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    As I've previously stated, I do think these Clippers pose some problems for the Spurs. And I do think the Spurs are ripe for a letdown. However, looking closer at the Clippers, I've come to the conclusion that the way they beat the Grizzlies is simply not sustainable against the Spurs.

    Casually watching the Clippers in the first round, one would probably think L.A. was playing stout defense. But that really wasn't the case. It was a mirage created a slow pace and the Grizzlies inability to make three-pointers.

    The Clippers allowed the Grizzlies to score just 91.4 points per game, however the pace of that series was exceptionally low: 87.7 possessions per game. So while the Clippers D looked improved on first glance, there was definitely more to the story.

    In the regular season, the Clippers were 18th in the league defensively, allowing 105.7 points per 100 possessions. Against the Grizzlies, the Clippers allowed 102.9 points per 100 possessions, which was still just ninth out of the 16 playoff teams in the first round. On a per-possession basis, Los Angeles didn't do anything drastically better defensively. Instead, the improvement can be directly linked to the Grizzlies shooting 24-for-83 (28.9%) from three-point range. Perimeter shooting was Memphis' main weakness heading into the postseason and it cost them dearly in the first round.

    The Clippers weren't good at defending the three-point line in the regular season so it's unlikely they played much of a role in the Grizzlies ineptness. If you adjust the Clippers opponent three-point percentage in the first round to something more sustainable like 35%, their defensive efficiency would rise to 104.9 -- or right around the mark they posted in the regular season.

    As we all know, the Spurs are a great three-point shooting team. The Clippers simply can't rely on the Spurs going cold from deep as the backbone of their defensive philosophy. San Antonio is more than capable of punishing teams who don't defend the three-point line. Memphis wasn't.

    The other main reason why the Clippers advanced is they took advantage of the Grizzlies second glaring weakness: a lack of a bench. Memphis had only one decent bench option (O.J. Mayo) to go along with a group of subpar players. The Grizzlies bench was particularly horrible on the defensive end. The Clippers, on the other hand, have a fine bench unit.

    When the two teams clashed, bench play ended up being a huge factor. The Grizzlies starters actually all posted positive plus/minus numbers for the series (ranging from Tony Allen's +34 to Mike Conley's +16). But those numbers were more than negated by the Clippers bench unit. Nick Young, Eric Bledsoe and Reggie Evans had the three highest plus/minus totals of the series at +49, +42 and +35, respectively.

    Against the Spurs, there's no way the Clippers bench is going to have that type of success. The Spurs are at the very least equally as deep and are certainly much deeper than the Grizzlies.

    The Clippers bench also hid the fact that Chris Paul didn't direct a very efficient offensive attack. In fact, when Paul was in the game against the Grizzlies, L.A. only scored 100.2 points per 100 possessions.

    Add it up and the Clippers defense was aided by the Grizzlies not having three-point range and the Clippers offense relied on their bench to destroy the Grizzlies putrid bench. I just don't see a way that the Clippers can sustain any of that against the Spurs.

    Factor in the very real possibility that a number of the Clippers will be slowed by injury (oh, and the fact that the Spurs ain't half bad themselves) and I'm tempted to predict another sweep. But I'm not going to quite go that far.

    In a couple games, I think Paul is going to successfully slow the pace to a snail's crawl. In a walk-it-up affair, the Clippers have the pieces to hand the Spurs a loss. They can grab offensive rebounds in bunches, get hot from the outside and execute down the stretch while disrupting the Spurs pick-and-roll offense by switching on the screen and forcing San Antonio to shoot contested jumpers. I think it will all come together for the Clippers in one game and they'll snap the Spurs winning streak.

    But that's as far as I'm going. The Spurs will defeat the Clippers in five games and advance to the 2012 Western Conference Finals. I can't put my finger on which game the Spurs will drop but I'm confident, as long as San Antonio stays healthy, it won't be more than one game.

    In a couple of the contests, I think the Spurs will be able to blow the Clippers out of the water. When the Spurs are able to push the pace, the Clippers simply won't be able to hang.

    You had your fun, Clipshow. Props on escaping the first round.

    Now be prepared to be steamrolled.

    Believe.



    tl;dr: clippers were fortunate, spurs are really good, spurs will win
    Last edited by timvp; 05-15-2012 at 12:31 AM.

  2. #2
    🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 ElNono's Avatar
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    The Clippers bench also hid the fact that Chris Paul didn't direct a very efficient offensive attack. In fact, when Paul was in the game against the Clippers, L.A. only scored 100.2 points per 100 possessions.
    You mean the Grizzlies. Fix that, and we'll call it a wrap.

  3. #3
    You down wit' O.C.D.? Borosai's Avatar
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    These guys are hurtin' for a squirtin'.

    Bonner will be the series MVP.

  4. #4
    Damn You Commies T Park's Avatar
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    The lore of Stephen Jackson will grow.

    He'll be left open and I think defensively he'll come up huge.

  5. #5
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    You mean the Grizzlies. Fix that, and we'll call it a wrap.
    Thanks, bree.

  6. #6
    Veteran Spur|n|Austin's Avatar
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    The lore of Stephen Jackson will grow.

    He'll be left open and I think defensively he'll come up huge.
    His rebounding as well. I'm pumped.

  7. #7
    Damn You Commies T Park's Avatar
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    Im gonna show more of my lack of BBall knowledge and wonder if it might be ok when Paul is out of the game to just zone the Clippers.

  8. #8
    Out with the old... Obstructed_View's Avatar
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    Yeah my take from that series is that neither team can play offense or defense. The Clippers just made some jumpers at opportune times and the Grizzlies went away from what should have won them the series. The Spurs need to make sure not to get lazy with rebounding and keep pushing the ball and they should be fine.

  9. #9
    Enemy of the FCC and AMA Dr. John R. Brinkley's Avatar
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    This thread is probably more realistic than the last one timvp put together. Still, I appreciate timvp trying to throw some small amount of cold water on some of the over confident fans with the previous one. People were expecting a le to be handed to them, and that's not only silly but completely beside the point of the journey to winning a le. Anyone who toiled during the 90s through all the disappointing teams, which, yes, sometimes were led by Vinny Del Negro in the backcourt, can very easily understand the great satisfaction in finally winning in 99 after all the turmoil it took to get there.

    Having said that, the Clippers seem like they're limping into the second round and are longshots to prevail in a 7 game series. In addition, other than Paul a lot of their players sort of seem like idiots on the basketball court. Maybe that's because the Spurs have such a high team BBIQ right now that every other team seems simple minded and predictable in contrast. (And as a quick tangent, I can't think of a team this deep with so many well coached, intelligent team oriented players in a long time. The Clippers have a decent bench, but it's led by chuckers like Nick Young. Our Neal is a chucker too, fair enough, but he will submit to the team game when it is asked of him. I don't see VDN doing much coaching, or the players doing much listening.

    I do believe that Paul will be able to set the pace while he's on the court (as timvp stated) but when he's on the bench and the Spurs second unit is out there I believe their superior focus and coaching and discipline will allow them to make the difference in the game, and ultimately, the series.

    Last thought, with the more recent scrutiny on flopping in the media, I think that must help the Spurs and hurt the Clippers, for though Manu will flop with the best of them, his acting seems much more polished than the Clippers - it's like comparing De Niro to Ashton Kucher.

  10. #10
    Erryday I'm Hustlin' Robz4000's Avatar
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    Now there's the timvp I know and love

  11. #11
    Feels bad man Mr.Bottomtooth's Avatar
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    tl;dr: clippers were fortunate, spurs are really good, spurs will win
    the goods

  12. #12
    Play Murray+White Fireball's Avatar
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    Hopefully the Spurs will look as sharp as the Thunder did last night ...

  13. #13
    Veteran jiggy_55's Avatar
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    I also predict Spurs in 5, hopefully they come out hot and rested like the Thunder did today rather than cold and rusty. If their rusty, I would not be shocked to see them lose a Game 1 and the series would go to 6.

  14. #14
    Believe. flipspursfan's Avatar
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    Spurs in 6. I predict the Clips' athleticism to be too much for the good guys in Staples.

  15. #15
    Kawhichael 100%duncan's Avatar
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    You had your fun, Clipshow. Props on escaping the first round.

    Now be prepared to be steamrolled.




    'Bout damn time, LJ.

  16. #16
    Veteran silverblackfan's Avatar
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    Nice job of breaking down the clippers game again. I also think the Spurs can lose one game in this series, but it will take the Spurs losing their focus to do it. Game 4 would be my guess with plenty of home cooking by the refs. I am hoping to be wrong, because a sweep would set up an epic battle with OKC.

    Spurs in 5.

  17. #17
    Chillin' like a villain... TampaDude's Avatar
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    spurs sweep

    if they lose any game by less than 10 i will be disappointed in their lack of effort and focus
    Lose???

  18. #18
    Veteran Old School 44's Avatar
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    Run these guys out of the gym!!!
    They just came out of an emotional/physical series with the Griz.
    Let Blake Griffin get a few monster jams (which can't be good for his injury) and take himself out of the game.

    Come on Spurs fans, don't be afraid to say it.....SWEEP!!!

  19. #19
    '99/'03/'05/'07 MmP's Avatar
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    The only point where im concerned with these clippers is athletism, if we can match it and do our job defensevly we are ok. if not, prepare for a long battle.

  20. #20
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    Gary Neal's gonna make it rain 3s all over the LAC. Gonna give me that special feeling.

  21. #21
    fuk yo team clown Legacy's Avatar
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    That's the at ude right there, timvp!

  22. #22
    You Belinelli Believe It! dougp's Avatar
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    Honestly, the Clippers / Grizzlies series was one of the worst I've seen in awhile - neither team could score very consistently, and felt very underwhelming.

  23. #23
    Spurs Fan in NC DBMethos's Avatar
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    Great thread. Can't wait for the game to start.

  24. #24
    BOlieve manufan10's Avatar
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  25. #25
    Veteran
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    Honestly, the Clippers / Grizzlies series was one of the worst I've seen in awhile - neither team could score very consistently, and felt very underwhelming.
    Funny, that was the criticism of the Spurs for so many years. Are you saying, in retrospect, that you think the Spurs were boring during their "defensive" years?

    For me, LAC vs. Memphis was great, tough, hard-nosed basketball that was a joy to watch. I love to see teams compete like that. I miss that about the Spurs ... the defensive intensity.

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