Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs
12:30 p.m. PST
April 26, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket/ TNT
Video of the Day
1. How do you slow down Kawhi Leonard?
Matthew Tynan, 48 Minutes of Hell, (@Matthew_Tynan): This was the question heading into the series for me. The Clippers bogged things down for Leonard in Game 1 by doubling when the Spurs tried to post him, but San Antonio has responded by keeping him out of similar situations. If Pop continues to put Kawhi in spots that make it impossible for a help defender to hedge over, I’m not sure they can slow him down, save for an extreme game plan that might cost them elsewhere.
J.D. Evans: Trade for Jimmy Butler? Trade for Draymond Green? The better news is that San Antonio plays team basketball, and if you force Leonard into hero ball mode, you’ve won that possession. That he balled so heroically last night doesn’t change that fact. And given that the Clippers aren’t likely to get a better wing defender than Barnes in the next week, the only answer is play good team defense, shoot better, and play better defense on the likes of Patty Mills.
Roscoe Whalan, (@RoscoeWhalan7): Pray for mercy? Pray that he misses? It definitely will require some assistance from the Basketball Gods. Game One the Clippers defended Leonard well, doubling him down low but the same circumstances haven’t arisen much since and the Clippers have struggled.
2. What’s worse, psychologically for the Clippers, blowing Game 2 or getting blown out in Game 3?
Tynan: I thought Game 2 was huge. I’m not gonna say I expected THAT in Game 3, but it felt like one of those games where the Spurs come home and play well. Game 2 just seemed like such an emotional letdown — I would’ve said the same thing had the Spurs lost, which I thought was going to be the outcome. It was just a rough way to lose, not only a game, but home-court advantage as well.
Evans: Given what happened in Game 3, the psyche after Game 2 was pretty much destroyed. It’s terrifying to think that game 4 will be even worse, and it almost certainly won’t be. At some point this team should decide that it’s not a championship team, that there’s nothing to loe, and hopefully loosen up a bit. And then maybe they can be a championship team again.
Whalan: A little bit of column A and a little bit of column B. Dropping Game 2 would’ve stung, a lot. Not only losing a winnable game but losing home court advantage for the series. It’s kind of not surprising that they laid an egg in Game 3 in San Antonio (although the size of the egg was a bit of a shock). However, if the Clippers won Game 3, Game 2 would’ve largely been forgotten — now it’s a 2-1 hole. Today’s game is crucial.
3. Complete the sentence: “The Clippers bench is…”
Tynan: The Clippers bench is like if you go to a Vic & Anthony’s and order the filet, only to have a waiter — for some really odd reason — take it away from you when you’re halfway through and slip a sloppy joe in its place. It’s a really unfortunate downgrade.
Evans: …a testament to the starting unit. Let’s be positive. If a six man team can be 2-1 against a top 5 team, that top six is playing pretty damn well. Most teams would take that; it’s much harder to put together an unstoppable six man group than to put together a passable four man bench. At least, in theory.
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