Los Angeles Clippers (1) vs. San Antonio Spurs (1)
6:30 p.m. PST
April 24, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket/ ESPN
Video of the Day
Will Patty Mills be cookin’ again?
1. What was the worst part about the Clippers’ execution down the stretch in Game Two?
Caleb Saenz, 48 Minutes of Hell, (@calebjsaenz): The Clippers executed well down the stretch, all things considered. The only mistake you could really zero in on was Blake Griffin’s late turnover. It was pretty unfortunate because he had played such a great game, but it would’ve made more sense for the ball to be in Chris Paul’s hands. It’s hard to blame him, though. Your eyes would’ve lit up, too, if you saw Marco Belinelli guarding you.
Andy Liu, (@AndyKHLiu): I actually thought it wasn’t as awful as some might make it out to be. Sure, Chris Paul missed a contested jumper at the end, J.J. Redick missed a couple open 3s, and then Blake Griffin dribbled a ball off his foot. The worst part probably peaked at the point when Griffin tried to tip in Paul’s last-second win and Matt Barnes came from behind and knocked it away. The Clippers were unlucky and sometimes, mostly always, that happens against the San Antonio Spurs.
Patrick James, (@patrickmjames): It’s less about specific issues and more a frustration with having played from behind all game long, finally taking a lead in the fourth quarter, and being unable to hold on. The worst part would be anything that carries over into game 3.
2. Who was more impressive in Game Two: Tim Duncan or Blake Griffin?
Saenz: This is a really close call, but I’d have to go with Duncan. Griffin’s line was amazing, but Duncan’s performance was surprising for two reasons. For one, the guy is nearly forty years old, and the Spurs are still riding him for big games. Most impressively, though, Duncan had to get his against a great post defender in Jordan, using a mixture of crafty footwork and tough angles.
Liu: We take Tim Duncan for granted so I’m going to do that and go with Blake Griffin. I noted that he might revert back to bullying guys with sheer strength in the post after spending a season on the perimeter. He’s done that, crushing DPOY Kawhi Leonard and forcing doubles left and right. The Spurs have no answer for him. Griffin is circa Phoenix Suns Amare Stoudamire right now in the series Duncan got owned in. The only thing that can slow him down is fatigue – as Griffin was huffing and puffing holding his knees as the fourth quarter started.
James: Duncan, who continues his quietly successful war against Father Time. However, if not for an untimely turnover, we might be talking about Griffin’s triple double as the signature playoff performance of his young career. (Two silver linings: there’s nothing to indicate Griffin will stop this great play, and unlike Duncan, he’s yet to hit his peak.)
3. Do you expect to see more Hack-a-DJ in Game 3?
Saenz: At this point, it would surprise me if it didn’t make an appearance in every game of the series. As long as putting Jordan at the line keeps the ball out of Paul’s hands, Pop will continue to employ the strategy. It gets dicey when you look at how well the Clippers rebound Jordan’s misses, but it clearly disrupts one of the league’s best offenses.
Liu: Is there any doubt? Gregg Popovich isn’t the type to take into account a small sample size and overreact. It is interesting that the Spurs lost a ton of ground when that happened because the Clippers could get rest, set their defense, and even get offensive rebounds. Practice makes perfect, I guess. I don’t expect the Spurs to go away from it simply because Jordan is so bad at shooting them.
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