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Old 03-13-10, 09:28 AM
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Clippers-Spurs Preview / Game Thread

Clippers-Spurs Preview



With their No. 1 draft pick sidelined for the season, their second-leading scorer nursing a leg injury and their general manager recently shown the door, it's no surprise the Los Angeles Clippers are mired in a six-game losing streak.

What would be stunning is if they can snap it Saturday night.

The Clippers' 15-game skid against the San Antonio Spurs is the league's longest current drought against a single opponent, and they'll also be looking for their first-ever win in 15 visits to the AT&T Center.

The last time Los Angeles (25-41) played San Antonio was in Kim Hughes' interim coaching debut Feb. 6 at Staples Center. Hughes was taking over for Mike Dunleavy, who stepped down as the team's on-court leader two days earlier after 6 1/2 seasons on the sidelines.

Hughes didn't have any better luck than Dunleavy against the Spurs in the 103-87 loss. San Antonio (38-25) has won three meetings this season by an average of 19.3 points, the past 15 overall in the series by 15.5 points per game and all 14 games versus the Clippers at the AT&T Center by an average of 13.4 points since the facility opened in 2002.

"It's going to take us a while before we see results," All-Star center Chris Kaman said after the Clippers' latest loss to the Spurs. "It's a work in progress right now."

There haven't been many positive signs in the past month. Los Angeles has dropped 13 of 17 under Hughes, and on Tuesday the organization relieved Dunleavy - still serving as general manager - of his remaining duties.

Added to the front office uncertainty is a six-game losing streak that's tied for the team's longest of the season.

The absence of Eric Gordon, who at 17.2 points per game is the team's second-leading scorer behind Kaman, hasn't helped. Gordon has missed the first four games of this road trip with a sore leg and is likely out for Saturday's finale as well.

The Clippers had their best shooting performance since Hughes took over Friday in Charlotte, but it wasn't enough. Baron Davis scored 24 points and Los Angeles shot 57.5 percent, but 23 turnovers were costly in a 106-98 loss.

"We don't share the ball enough," Hughes said. "I think when they double-teamed us, we held the ball too long. We have to be more unselfish when we get trapped."

While the Clippers are struggling without Gordon, the Spurs hardly seem fazed by a broken right ring finger that may cost Tony Parker the rest of the regular season.

Manu Ginobili followed his 38-point performance in a Monday loss to the Cavaliers by scoring 28 in a 97-87 win Wednesday against the New York Knicks, then fellow guard George Hill had 19 points and eight assists Friday in a 103-85 rout at Minnesota.

San Antonio has won six of seven.

"We're right in the mix of things, and we're trying to move up and try to jockey for some position so every win is a good win right now," Tim Duncan said.

The Spurs' new starting backcourt has kept Duncan from having to carry the offensive load, as he's averaged just 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds over his past five games.

It's possible coach Gregg Popovich could rest Duncan Saturday in the second night of a back-to-back, but he only played 25 minutes Friday and has averaged just over 20 in the last four meetings with Los Angeles.

San Antonio is 4-4 when playing the second of a back-to-back, while the Clippers - also playing their fourth game in five nights - are 4-13.
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Old 03-13-10, 10:41 AM
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NBA.com - Referee Assignments
Mar 13, 2010
L.A. Clippers @ San Antonio--Tom Washington, Curtis Blair, EricLewis
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Old 03-13-10, 07:40 PM
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Starting line up:

Tim Duncan
Manu Ginobili
Richard Jefferson
George Hill
Antonio McDysse
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Old 03-13-10, 09:45 PM
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I love the energy Hairston and Jackson brought tonight. Heck, the whole team, but those guys are real sparkplugs.
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Old 03-13-10, 10:05 PM
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great game...now we just need to play actual playoff teams. hopefully the spurs will bring the same energy they brought tonight. GO SPURS GO!
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Old 03-13-10, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzly_bexar View Post
I love the energy Hairston and Jackson brought tonight. Heck, the whole team, but those guys are real sparkplugs.
Well, Spurs definitely good at finding potential rotation guys for next year. Hairston is almost a guarantee there. Jackson and possibly Temple might add that. And the nice news is they'll be cheap during the expensive payroll the Spurs will have for one more season.

And the great thing. They play D!
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Old 03-14-10, 12:15 AM
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Yeah, I like how Pop is shifting the focus back towards guys who can flat out play D. I was getting so tired of only winning games when 3's were falling.

There was only so much we could do defensively with guys like Finley and Mason figuring prominently into the rotation. Even guys like Manu and TP aren't great individual defenders.

Jackson seems like a real defensive stud.

Now we've got plenty of scorers, lots of energy, and guys who can really get after it defensively. I like where we are headed for the first time in a long time.
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Old 03-14-10, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzly_bexar View Post
Yeah, I like how Pop is shifting the focus back towards guys who can flat out play D. I was getting so tired of only winning games when 3's were falling.

There was only so much we could do defensively with guys like Finley and Mason figuring prominently into the rotation. Even guys like Manu and TP aren't great individual defenders.

Jackson seems like a real defensive stud.

Now we've got plenty of scorers, lots of energy, and guys who can really get after it defensively. I like where we are headed for the first time in a long time.
add to that QUICK legs, scrappiness, and HUSTLE - other characteristics we saw out there today but have been sorely need/lacking.
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Old 03-14-10, 12:33 AM
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oh...so....Pop went back to "if you don't defend, you don't play"?

who woulda thought that would've worked?

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Old 03-14-10, 12:46 AM
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The good news is both Jackson and Temple can handle the ball. Can you say less RMJ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose_TheGenius View Post
oh...so....Pop went back to "if you don't defend, you don't play"?

who woulda thought that would've worked?

It's all situational. If the Spurs were able to get by and not struggle as much, their hand might not have been as forced as it is now.

If Bonner or Finley never got injured, Mason never struggled, Parker never had nagging injuries it is possible the Spurs might be higher in the standings and these moves never would have occurred.

At the very least, with Theo and Finley taking up roster spots, there wouldn't be a lot of room to grab these guys.
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Old 03-14-10, 03:20 AM
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I always believe that Spurs will only go as far as Manu takes us.

This year, you can tell Manu is at least 90& of the vintage Manu that took us all the way several years ago, except shorter hang time(5%) and lower speed(5%)!
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