Game 4 NBA Pick: Clippers Not Resilient Enough to Win Series Against Spurs

David Lawrence

Saturday, April 25, 2015 6:05 PM GMT

The Clippers & Spurs were supposed to play a close game Friday night, but the Spurs gained a lead as big as 37 points before coasting home to a 27-point victory. Will they again cash on the NBA odds?

The Los Angeles Clippers Can Win Because…
They did not show up in Game 3. That might seem like a reason to pick the Spurs, but when a team just doesn’t have anyone playing well in the same game, the NBA odds are good that at least two or three players are going to play well in the next game, and that’s what the Clippers need to even up this series heading back to Los Angeles for Game 5.

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan – none of them played very well in Game 3. If you score 73 points in a game, chances are none of your players played at a high level. Griffin scored only 14 points after scoring 29 in Game 2. Chris Paul scored only seven points after scoring 21 in Game 2. DeAndre Jordan collected only eight rebounds and was not much of a factor. Bench scorer Jamal Crawford hit just 1 of 11 shots. J.J. Redick hit just 2 of 7 shots. Starter Matt Barnes scored only five points. The team earned only 12 free throws. This was a black hole, with nothing one could look at as a silver lining. This was a complete flunk-out of a performance. The Clippers should be stronger and better in this game. They should get quality efforts from Griffin and Paul. If they do indeed receiver good performances from their two best players, they’ll be right there with a chance to win in the fourth quarter.

 

The San Antonio Spurs Can Win Because…
They're now in charge of this series, and their best young talent has shown that he’s the best player on the court. Kawhi Leonard might have been awarded the Defensive Player of the Year Award before Game 3, but he then went out to the court and scored 32 points on 13 of 18 shooting. He made most of his threes (3 of 5) and all three foul shots he attempted. With Leonard dominating like that, the Spurs can win without getting large numbers from other players, especially their old guys. It was noticeable that San Antonio won Game 3 by 27 points despite the fact that Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker scored 12 points combined. The Spurs have a far better bench than the Clippers. They dominated bench scoring in Game 2, and they did the same again in Game 3, winning the bench battle by a score of 45 to 30. The Clippers face such a narrow margin for error. If Griffin and Paul aren’t great – not good, but great – the Clippers have to get something from their bench, but their track record suggests they won’t be able to do what they need.

 

Outlook
The Spurs’ emphatic win in Game 3 suggests that they now have mental ownership of the series and the Clippers. Los Angeles is talented enough, but it is not tough enough or resilient enough to win this series. Take San Antonio with your NBA picks in Game 4.

NBA Pick: San Antonio at 5Dimes

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