May 18, 2012, 1:33 AM EDT
Through two games the Spurs are shooting 51 percent overall against the Clippers and 46 percent from three. They have scored more than 25 points in six of the eight quarters. It feels like every shot they take is a wide open one. They have done pretty much whatever they wanted.
The Clippers have no answers, no defense for it. Blake Griffin, slowed some by a bad knee, just cannot come close to rotating as fast as the ball moves. The Spurs are making it look easy.
San Antonio remains undefeated in the playoffs, pulling away for a 105-88 win that has them up 2-0 in the series now headed to a very busy Staples Center in Los Angeles (Clippers, Lakers and the NHL’s Kings all have home playoff games this weekend, plus the Amgen Tour of California cycling race finishes outside Staples Sunday afternoon.)
San Antonio is playing fantastic, beautiful basketball, having now won 16 in a row dating back to the regular season. Tony Parker found his grove (on his 30th birthday) and had 22, Tim Duncan had his usual efficient 18 and, as we all expected, Boris Diaw added 16. It was that kind of night for the Spurs, where Diaw is hitting everything and Tiago Splitter was 4-6 shooting.
Chris Paul struggled again to find his mojo, in part still due to injury but more because the Spurs defensive game plan is working and not letting him get the looks he wants. Nor can he get going setting up teammates. Blake had 20 to lead the Clippers, who had just two other players in double figures. If Paul and Griffin are not playing like All-Stars the Clippers have no real chance.
Thing is, the Clipper offense wasn’t that bad — they shot 49 percent, hit 9-13 threes and scored 88 points.
But if they don’t find a way to slow the Spurs offense it’s all for naught. And I’m not sure they have the pieces or the maturity to make that happen right now.
- Memphis’ defense, discipline propel them past Thunder in overtime lead series 2-1 0
- Hawks take a 2-1 series lead over top-seeded Pacers 11
- Josh McRoberts fined $20,000 for forearm foul to LeBron’s throat 44
- Oscar Robertson says if he were Carmelo Anthony “I would leave today” 49
- Larry Bird, through Pacers general manager, says Frank Vogel’s job is safe 11