Lakers/Thunder. Good matchup. Revenge. Kobe. Durant. Fisher. Got it.
Spurs/Clippers? Seriously? Kings/Clippers/Lakers all having playoff games in the same building for potentially two weeks? The potential of a LA vs. LA Western conference final? People in that climate don’t deserve that type of confusing joy, which is why it won’t happen.
The Spurs. All that is calm, cool and collected. The Clippers. All that is angry (Chris Paul), small (Chris Paul again), big (anyone seen a lost DeAndre Jordan?), floppy (Blake/Paul), swaggy (@NickSwagyPYoung) and poorly coached.
Is there anything more oppositely constructed headed for a sweep in one of two ways? Can you imagine the Spurs using the naivete of the Clippers against them and constructing plays to get an extra pass to the perimeter while Tim Duncan grinds Blake Griffin down to a pulp “old man style” and getting 10 guys in double figures? Can you imagine Chris Paul running the break with Nick Young who starts the “Mo Young” tandem with Lebron’s old sidekick and shooting the lights out while Reggie Evans goes berserk to get 18 rebounds?
As an unabashed Thunder fan, I hope this thing goes 7, with overtime required in games 5,6 and 7. That’s just me. For basketball fans, we can look at three things that will determine the outcome of the series.
The coach. Pop owns Vinny. Don’t try and debate it. Don’t go to wikipedia. Don’t defend Vinny, he’s a clown amongst clowns. Remember the Del Negro Bulls? Neither does America.
The point guard. Gotta give the edge to little man of the year, Chris Paul. But it’s close. If Chris Paul is a 10, Tony Parker is a 9.5
The power forward. The recipient of inside feeds, rebounder of missed 3’s. Tim Duncan, at 55 years old and as Dylan once sang “but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now” is looking like a man making dinner for his very successful wife, pausing for a moment to reflect on what to add to his garden salad, and realizing it all in a manner of 10 seconds without so much as a frown. He’s Tim Duncan. Flustered/Determined/Excited do not exist in his dictionary.
Blake Griffin, robot to the core, is looking like he wants to dunk on someone and proceed to melt him with his eyes. He can’t shoot, he can’t make free throws, but he can leap. He’s going to need to leap quite a bit if he’s trying to keep up with the scoring of the Spurs.
I still give the edge to Duncan, only because he’s seen everything in his 120,000 playoff games and can piss off Griffin to the point where he starts forcing things and get into foul trouble early.
To the final point, are the perimeter shooters of the Clippers consistent enough to make 3’s in clutch moments or create their own shot? Are the Spurs so team oriented that they will end up relying on guys that are not the “right guys” (Ginobili/Parker/Duncan), backfiring when Paul/Griffin/Young start heating up?
I’m taking Spurs in 6, but wouldn’t put it past the Clippers to take this in 5 if they fire Vinny and hire Mike D’Antoni ASAP.