Monday, November 1, 2010

Regular Season Game 3: Visiting the Clippers

It's entirely possible and exceedingly likely that I probably will be doing a box score analysis review of this game.  Just warning you in advance.  With that being said, come on.  It's the Clippers.  I really should be ending my analysis with just that.  Seriously though, I REALLY don't want to be the first team to lose to the Clippers this season.

PG Tony Parker Baron Davis
SG Manu Ginobili Eric Gordon
SF Richard Jefferson Ryan Gomes
PF DeJuan Blair Blake Griffin
C Tim Duncan Chris Kaman
Bench George Hill Eric Bledsoe

Gary Neal Rasual Butler

James Anderson Al-Farouq Aminu

Antonio McDyess Craig Smith

Tiago Splitter DeAndre Jordan

While I hesitate to give Griffin the definitive advantage over Blair, it's possible it's just me being a homer.  I've seen enough Griffin highlights to know that while he does have a very wild (somewhat uncontrolled) style of play, he certainly does know how to translate his freakish athleticism into production.  That being said, the Clippers are still 0-3 despite Griffin averaging 16.7 points and 11 rebounds per game.  It'll be interesting how Pop devises the defense to try to contain him, or even let him get his own while mitigating the damage from the other players, namely Eric Gordon.

This brings us to our key matchup.  While I believe that Ginobili has the decided advantage over Gordon, Gordon is a fairly potent threat offensively, and thereby needs to be carefully guarded.  His shot wasn't falling against the Mavericks but I don't expect him to take significantly fewer shots.  Manu and RJ need to just continually make him work on the defensive end, either drawing silly fouls or just getting to the rim.  Hopefully that flusters Gordon enough that he can't focus on the defensive end.  That being said, I want Anderson and Jefferson and Manu, whoever is guarding him (maybe Hill too) to just be aggressive with him, don't let him get easy shots.  Force him to take shots with a hand in his face. 

Finally, this may be the first game we get to see Splitter in action.  I hope that he gets decent burn what with Bonner out and all.  I think he'll be a definitive difference maker, and will make the matchups very interesting.  I'm eager to see how he gets things moving on both ends of the court.  While not a tremendous rebounder, I hope that his shot altering ability combined with Blair's natural affinity for snatching the carom will work together very nicely.  I'm excited to see if he develops a particular mojo with any one player on the roster.

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