San Antonio 118 - Clippers 88 - The Humiliation is Complete

I didn't watch the game.  I was returning home at 7:30, aware that the game would be in the fourth quarter,  trying to decide whether or not to turn on the radio, and I realized that I really had nothing to lose.  If it was a close, then I could be relieved and pleasantly suprised, and I could watch the game on the DVR when I got home.  If it was a blowout, as I pretty much knew it would be, then I could save myself a couple of hours of aggravation.  The moment I turned on the radio, I could tell from Brian Sieman's tone that it was as I had suspected: another fourth quarter of rest for Tim Duncan.

It's now been more than four years since the Clippers beat the Spurs, but the team has achieved a level of futility this season that we haven't experienced in the past.  The margins of victory in the four games were 25, 17, 16 and 31.  More tellingly, lest you look at those middle two games and think they were comparitively competitive, the Spurs' biggest lead in the four games was 31, 25, 31 and 33.  San Antonio led by at least 25 in the fourth quarter of every single meeting with the Clippers this season.

And you're thinking, "Well, it's the mighty Spurs.  It's no shame to lose to them."  The only problem with that logic is that the Spurs are seventh in the West this season.  This is not a team that is destroying all comers.  It wasn't that long ago that the Clippers fancied themselves a playoff contender this season.  Well, here's a team at the tail end of the Western Conference playoff race, and the Clippers haven't made them sweat for one minute of four games.

There's definitely some sort of mystique at work here, but come on.  You can't just write off four games every year because some opponent has a voodoo doll of you.

Here are the numbers I find most interesting from the season series. 

 

Tim Duncan

Tony Parker

Manu Ginobili

Game 1 - Dec 13

26/0

31/0

23/0

Game 2 - Dec 21

25/0

27/0

30/9

Game 3 - Feb 6

19/0

20/0

27/0

Game 4 - March 13

13/0

18/0

0/0

The first number is how many minutes total the Spurs All Star played.  The second is how many minutes he played in the fourth quarter.  In a four game season series, not one of the Spurs' big three averaged more than half a game of basketball against the Clippers.  And the ultimate insult is that of a potential 142 fourth quarter minutes, the big three were actually on the court for 9 minutes (8 minutes and 34 seconds, to be precise).  No wait - that's not the ultimate insult - apparently, in the fourth quarter of this game, Gregg Popovich handed the clipboard to George Hill during a timeout to give him a taste of coaching, you know, since it was just the Clippers.  I'm surprised they don't just let a random fan into the game.  That would be fun.  It must be pretty hard to sell tickets when the Clippers are in town - that would be a hell of a promotion.  "Tonight at the AT&T Center, one lucky fan will get to play power forward in the fourth quarter against the Clippers!" 

The Clippers are sapping me of my joie de vivre.  Oh look, Monday they play another team that has owned them this season.  Great.

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