The third seed Los Angeles Clippers will host the sixth seed San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the Western Conference NBA Playoffs. The series was tied two games to two between both teams during the 2015 regular season. The LA Clippers finished as one the hottest teams in the league on a seven game winning streak. Against the Spurs this season, LA averaged 106.8 points, shot 48.2% from the field and 35.6% from the three point line. After averaging 23.8 assist per game, the Clippers will turn it over 13.8 times on average per game. Ball protection will play a major part of controlling the clock by keeping it in Chris Paul’s hands. On the other hand, the Spurs averaged 103.5 points a game, 48% from the field and 35% from the three point line. Controlling the boards will play a factor in this series. While averaging 44.8 rebounds to LA’s 36.5 average. The defensive rebounding by both teams premier big men is the underlining stories in this playoff series. Both teams’ superstar point guards will be the catalyst for their teams winning ways. Tony Parker averages 4.9 assists against the Clippers. He has to be more of a facilitator in the series rather than a scoring point. Chris Paul averages 10.1 assists per game. He can score when needed, but his first option is getting his shooters in position to score baskets. San Antonio is looking like the team nobody wants to play in the playoffs. Gregg Popovich always find ways to adjust to how the other team plays on both ends of the floor. Doc Rivers on the other hand has to force more turnovers and allow his defense to create offense by pushing the ball up the floor against an aging Spur team.
My prediction: San Antonio Spurs 4-2; while the Clippers have always posed a threat to the Spurs through the last two seasons, the Clippers beating the Spurs in a 7-game series is not impossible, but hardly believable with their team. Streaky shooting and confidence will be the Clippers down fall.
Game 1: Sunday, San Antonio at L.A. Clippers, 9:30 p.m. CT
Game 2: Wed. April 22, San Antonio at L.A. Clippers, 9:30 p.m. CT
Game 3: Fri. April 24, L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m. CT (ESPN)
Game 4: Sun. April 26, L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, 2:30 p.m. CT (ABC)
*Game 5: Tue. April 28, San Antonio at L.A. Clippers, TBD
*Game 6: Thu. April 30, L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, TBD
*Game 7: Sat. May 2, San Antonio at L.A. Clippers, TBD