|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAWhen the season began, not many people were expecting "the other" Los Angeles franchise to be anywhere near San Antonio or any other NBA playoff destination. But here we are in the Alamo City for game one of this NBA Western Conference Semifinal Playoff series for a Spurs vs Clippers matchup. The series begins in Texas and will end here, if it goes seven games.
That is off the strenghth of San Antonio possessing the best regular season record in the conference. They actually tied the Chicago Bulls for the NBA's top mark, but lost a tiebreaker for the overall number one seed. That is of no concern any longer, since the injury riddled Chicago franchise lost in the first round of the postseason to Philadelphia. Now, homecourt belongs to the Spurs as long as they continue to advance, including for the NBA Championship Series.
Not unlike Chicago, the Clippers have injury concerns of their own, albeit, not of the catastrophic nature of a Derrick Rose torn ACL. Their two best players suffered injuries of their own at the end of a hard fought quarterfinals series against Memphis which the Clippers won in seven games. Blake Griffen has a banged up knee and Chris Paul, a bothersome hip flexor, as this series gets started Tuesday night in the AT&T Center. Throw in Caron Butler, playing with a broken left hand and there is much to worry about for L.A.
The Spurs have no such concerns and will be well rested after dispatching Utah in a four game sweep of the first round. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and even Manu Ginobeli will all be ready.
San Antonio was 2-1 versus Los Angeles during the regular season, losing only on March 9th when Tony Parker was missing due to a sore thigh. During the 66 game regular schedule the Spurs held a 4.7 point net advantage in points scored vs allowed as opposed to the Clippers. The Clippers were 16-17 away from Hollywood in the regular season.
San Antonio enters this series on a remarkable 14 game win streak. The beginning odds on this series are "off the charts" as the Spurs have been installed as favorites at -$2400, while the Clippers are +$1400.