The Los Angeles Clippers fall to the San Antonio Spurs in game one of the Western Conference Semi Finals. The Spurs beat the Clips by 19 points to take a one to zero lead in the series. The Spurs were executing their game plan to the tee as they usually do. The key to the game was the three point shooting; the Clips shot well going 9 for 19 (47%), but the Spurs went 13-25 (53%). Historically the Spurs have not been known for their three point shooting, this season they have become very efficient in that aspect, which makes them a versatile team. Clippers basically have to pick their poison. Either they crash the paint with defenders and allow the opportunities for open three point shots or they stay discipline in the perimeter and make it less difficult for the Spurs to get points in the paint. I know, what the HELL!!! The Spurs are a team that can score points in different ways, which obviously makes them a hard team to defend. So what do the Clippers have to do to win game two and the series?
It starts and finishes with Chris Paul. CP3 had 10 assists in game one, but shot 3 for 13 and scored 6 points. After the game CP3 himself stated, “We cannot win games if I play this badly.” He knows he played poorly by his standards and you can expect him to play better in game two. A troubling issue is Blake Griffin, he had a descent game scoring 15 points and grabbing 9 boards, but the problem is his knee. Not sure Blake will be able to display his explosiveness throughout four quarters, an aspect that can really hurt the Clips in this series.
That being said, how else can the Clippers win the series? For starters it begins with defense. The Clips need to find a way to keep the games in the 80’s or lower. They found lots of success against the Memphis Grizzlies when they were able to keep the game low scoring. The Clips have a good bench and they need to continually rotate fresh players to keep up their defensive intensity.
I was surprised that Reggie Evans only played 8 minutes in game one. His energy, defense, and rebounding ability sparked the Clippers in many games during their seven game series versus the Grizzlies. Along with Evans, Eric Bledsoe is becoming a valuable player for the Clips. Bledsoe led all Clippers scorers with 23 points in game one. Those are the two keys to the Clippers success; defense and bench play.
Game two will be a big one for the Clippers. If they can find a way to get a split and go to Los Angeles with a one to one series tie, then the Clips chances are great to possibly win the series. GO CLIPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!