Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs
6:00 p.m. PST
January 31, 2015
ESPN/ FOX Prime Ticket
Video of the Day
Taking on the Special Forces
1. San Antonio’s been banged up most of this season, which Spur has benefited most from the extra minutes?
Matthew Tynan, 48 Minutes of Hell, (@Matthew_Tynan): Initially it was Danny Green, especially during Kawhi’s absence. But he’s seemed tired in recent weeks, and was already pretty established. I’ll go with Cory Joseph. Between Tony Parker’s injuries and Patty Mills’ recovery, he’s had a chance to boost his value during a contract season, and he’s absolutely done that.
Roscoe Whalan, (@RoscoeWhalan7): Cory Joseph. He’s gone from third string point guard to starting a bunch of games in the absence of Tony Parker and Patty Mills. He’s averaging about 24 minutes a game and even with those two in front of the depth chart making their way back now there’s no doubt the experience will bode well for both Cory and the Spurs later down the road.
J.D. Evans: It’s hard to say anyone’s really benefited, but maybe Kyle Anderson. I certainly didn’t think he’d be playing at all this year, and instead he’s had a few starts and is getting real rotation time. He’s not exactly Whitesiding the league, but the more experience he gets now, with no pressure, the more likely he is turn into the next Diaw. Assuming that’s a good thing.
2. What’s the key match up in this one?
Tynan: Who the hell knows? There are multiple factors at play here, and in every game. But since Leonard’s return, the Spurs are allowing just 96 points per 100 possessions. This game will come down to San Antonio’s shooting, though, as it really hasn’t been great recently. That should be aided by the potential return of Marco Belinelli (upgraded to questionable), but we’ll have to wait and see.
Whalan: Maybe not the key match up but it’ll be interesting to see how the Clippers bounce back on the second night of a back-to-back after dropping a winnable game in New Orleans last night.
Evans: The Clips and Spurs have played twice this season. In the first game, they combined for 174 points. In the second game, the Spurs got 125 on their own. In other words, there are no trends. But so far Leonard and Parker have had the game winning performances. So this time I predict, for no good reason, that the sixth man battle will be key: can Crawford outplay Ginobili?
3. Popovich is just three wins away from 1000. What’s your favorite Pop moment?
Tynan: I think an easy answer here is the press conference before Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals. If you haven’t seen it, it’s as good as it gets. But I’m going to go with the regular-season matchup between the Spurs and the HEAT in San Antonio that year, as it was a little more behind the scenes. Reporters told Pop LeBron and Wade weren’t playing — this after the infamous “Rest-Gate” in Miami earlier that season — and the coach feigned incredulity and shock, stumbling backwards and clutching at the walls in the hallway where his scrum was being held. “What kind of shit is that?” Pop asked mockingly. “Who would think of something like that? That’s below the belt. There’s no place for that.” It was unequivocally my favorite Pop moment.
Whalan: Too many to count. However, I love the imagery of this quote: “When I came down to St. Croix to see Timmy eight or nine years ago, nobody said a word to me (about driving on the left side), … I got my rental car and I went out on the road, and I was gesticulating at like 10 people before I realized I was the jerk.”
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