Los Angeles Clippers (3) vs. San Antonio Spurs (3)
5:00 p.m. PST
May 2, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket/ TNT
Video of the Day
Take it away, ‘Za.
1. Who’s been more disappointing for the Spurs: Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker?
Matthew Tynan, 48 Minutes of Hell, (@Matthew_Tynan): I’d bet the answer would be Tony Parker for most people, but Manu Ginobili has been the bigger disappointment in this series for me. Parker is hurt and his jumper isn’t working, but the Spurs have been better than the Clippers per 100 possessions while he’s been on the floor in this series; Manu, I fear, might be nearing the end of his rope. This is a matchup, coming off the bench against that Clippers reserve group, that set up as a favorable one for him, and he just hasn’t had the extra gear at all. Numbers are down across the board. To me, that’s the most disappointing part: Watching Ginobili play and seeing his reactions in the locker room post-game make this feel like we might be nearing the end of an era 🙁 …
Seth Partnow (@SethPartnow): Parker by a mile. Ginobili has always been something of a sometimes food for Pop and the Spurs. Parker’s almost total inability to break down the first line of the Clippers’ half court defense has stifled a huge number of possessions for San Antonio, and probably explains Danny Green and Tiago Splitter’s rough series to a degree.
Andy Liu, (@AndyKHLiu): Tony Parker. Manu Ginobili has played as a shell of himself for a couple seasons now. Parker has been stunningly awful, losing crunch-time minutes to Patty Mills, who is a superb role player but not the type of decision-making consistently necessary. I’d gather to say most of it is not his fault because the Achilles, ankle, and quad injuries seem to have added up to this and it isn’t pretty.
2. What does Big Baby’s injury mean for the Clippers and does it even matter?
Tynan: I think it matters, but only a tiny bit. Big Baby’s had a few moments in this series that have helped the L.A. bench cling to leads or hang tight in close games. Now there’s yet another downgrade if he can’t go. I mean, let’s not get carried away. This game isn’t about those guys. Maybe they make a play here or there, but this is all about the Clippers’ starters.
Partnow: So. Many. Minutes. for Blake and DeAndre. For Blake especially, the concern is that he won’t be able to maintain the level of two-way intensity he’s shown for much of this series if his minute totals start to creep into the high 40s. Even in Game 6, Blake could be seen tugging at his shorts in the universal signal of fatigue a few times, and with no credible backup (sorry Spencer), rest will be harder to come by.
Liu: It is an indictment of just how awful the Los Angeles Clippers’ bench is that a Big Baby injury means something. My goodness, there are barely any words. Will we see a Spencer Hawes sighting? If the Clippers find a way to win this with that hair on the floor? Just hand them the title.
3. Pick a Game Seven narrative and a winner.
Tynan: While I didn’t think it’d go seven games, this felt like it was going to be a hell of a series from the get-go. It’s exceeded expectations. For the second straight season, the Spurs will play a Game 7 in the first round, and that’s where my narrative starts. It was in Game 7 against Dallas last spring when the Spurs machine fully kicked into gear. We haven’t seen that team — or anything close to it, really — at all in this series. Even Game 3 was really top-heavy with Kawhi Leonard leading the way. I believe we’re going to get that locked-in Spurs team tonight — these kinds of situations tend to force them into that mode. I picked them at the start of the series and I don’t really have a reason to flip, so San Antonio wins in a really close game as this strange road-team-wins trend continues.
Partnow: I’m totally going to punt on this one. A lot of the objective info seems to favor the Clippers, but it’s still the Spurs and San Antonio doesn’t seem to have played the smartest series at times from a strategic perspective (particularly the Hack DJ strategy has worked more to L.A.’s favor more often than not).
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