The Los Angeles Clippers have only one thing to look forward to after losing the first two games to the San Antonio Spurs, returning home to the Staples Center. Tonight the Clippers look to turn around their best of seven series with a win. A loss would put them down 3-0 and would make it virtually impossible to win the series. There has been no team in the history of the NBA that has fought back and won a seven game series after failing to win any of the first three games.
The Clippers have been completely outplayed by the Spurs in both games. Injuries have devastated the Clippers, as stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have been slowed and it shows in their offensive output, turnovers and explosiveness.
San Antonio on the other hand has won their first six games during the playoffs and their last 16 in all. The Spurs have not lost a game since April 11. San Antonio’s trio of veterans has carried them of late. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, all over 30 years of age, have helped the Spurs to win 27 of their last 29 games.
Turnovers are taking their toll for the Clippers as Paul has turned the ball over 38 times in his nine playoff games. Much of that can be attributed to his hip flexor strain. Griffin has had a knee strain in the first two games of the series and hurt his hip in game 2 and that has limited even more his ability to jump and be explosive.
The Spurs use great depth to keep players fresh and exceptional three point shooting to open things up on the offense, as the great shooting from outside helps to open the low post for Duncan to score.
This will be the first of two games in two nights, something that is rare in an NBA playoff series’ and that will test the injured Clipper stars, and could test the strength of the Spurs’ veterans as well.
The line has the Spurs as a 5-point favorite after opening with San Antonio as a 3 ½-point favorite. The total is sitting at 191. Eighty percent of smart money bettors are taking the Spurs less the points, while over 60% are taking the total to end OVER.