Clippers @ Spurs: What To Watch For

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-2-12-19-pmLos Angeles Clippers (4-1) @ San Antonio Spurs (5-1)
AT&T Center – November 5th @ 8:30pm ET  (AUS – 11:30am Sun 6th)

Starting Lineups:

A well established Clippers starting 5. CP3 would seem to have a big matchup advantage in this one, as would Redick. The sharp shooting backcourt duo will be a major headache for Coach Pop. Mbah a Moute is in at the 3 for defensive purposes, who equally will have his hands full with Kawhi Leonard. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan round out the starting 5 – Griffin has expanded his range further this season, making him an even more dangerous threat. Jordan does what he does; rebounds, defends,  finishes lobs…and airballs freebies…so expect a little hack-a-DJ.

Parker is out for this game and Mills should get the start in his place. More on that below.  When healthy, Parker will continue to start for the time being but he does not look like the Tony Parker of old…just an old Tony Parker. SloMo Anderson has showed little so far this season, and will likely see token minutes at the 2 – expect to see a fair amount of Jonathon Simmons there until Danny Green returns. Kawhi Leonard has had a scintillating start to season 16/17, flashing some mamba moves that I frankly didn’t think he had in him. LMA and Pau are looking like a dubious fit, but you can’t deny their talent. The LMA and Pau v BG and DJ battle will be crucial as to who wins this game.

Key Bench Guys:
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Mo Speights is essentially the yin to DJ’s yang. Doc Rivers loves having him on this team, being able to plug him in when hack-a-DJ becomes an issue and use his floor spacing ability to create space for Blake and CP3 to operate. If foul trouble becomes an issue, expect to see a fair bit of Mo’s mole.

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Patty is likely starting this game but is pushing down the door to start at the point longer term even when Parker returns. He’s ignitable, always gives 100% effort, and may be a better fit alongside Leonard and LMA – given the playmaking ability of Pau also. If Mills can get hot, it’ll go a long way to helping the Spurs take this one and therefore he remains the key 2nd unit cog. Even if he joins the 1st unit tonight.

4 Points:

  • LAC: Can the Clippers assert themselves early as a contender in the West? If they want to be considered for real, they need to win games against fellow West heavyweights.
  • SAS: Which of the Spurs wings show up? With Anderson struggling, can they get enough out of Manu and Simmons to offset Reddick’s expected contribution?
  • LAC: Will CP3 give the Spurs a taste of what’s to come? CP3 is a Free Agent at the end of this season – will he consider joining up with Kawhi and LMA to combat the Dubs?
  • SAS: Can LMA and Pau get it going against some of the highest calibre competition? LMA is shooting just 43% so far this season, and Pau has struggled to adjust to the Spurs way so far this season.
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