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Clippers - Spurs Preview

The Clippers squandered a chance to get back to .500 in Seattle last Thursday.  They get another chance tonight against the Spurs, but this one will be decidedly more difficult.  Sam Cassell is expected to sit out his third game in a row, and the Spurs would be the hottest team in the league right now if the Mavs weren't molten.  

The Spurs may also be without their starting point guard, as Tony Parker nurses a bad hip, but it doesn't seem to matter to them.  They absolutely smoked a very good Houston team on Saturday 97-74 with Jacques Vaughan starting at the point, and he's not even French despite his name.  

Still, I'd rather face the Spurs sans Parker than avec.  Although they beat Houston sans and with a mere 5 points from Manu Ginobili, this is still mostly a three man team surrounded by role players.  The Clippers can drape QRoss on Ginobili all game and work Kaman and Brand against Timmy and maybe give themselves a chance.  Clearly it will have to start with the defense, which has certainly been very good lately.

But with Daniel Ewing and Will Conroy (Jason Hart?) running the offense, against one of the best defenses in the NBA, points will be a struggle.  I mean, this team scored 75 against Seattle.  What the hell are the Spurs going to do to them?

It's going to take strong offensive games from several guys to generate enough points to win this one.  Mobley, Maggette, Thomas, Kaman... one or more of these guys needs to play really well in order to make this a game.  Kaman is really the key.  He needs to abuse Francisco Elson/Fabricio Oberto (Fabcisco Elberto, as they call them on Pounding the Rock).  If Kaman is ineffective, allowing the Spurs to double Brand with impunity, it's going to be another blowout loss to the Spurs, meme dans l'absence de Monsieur Parker.