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San Antonio Spurs vs. L.A. Clippers NBA Preview & Free Pick

Spurs vs Clippers NBA Spread/Handicapping

The San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers are considered legitimate contenders in the Western Conference, but it is the Spurs who have started their season perfect with a 4-0 record, while the Clippers have dropped back-to-back games against fringe playoff teams this season.

San Antonio Spurs (4-0) @ Los Angeles Clippers (2-2)
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 on ESPN
Staples Center, LOS ANGELES, CALIF.
10:30 PM ET
Moneyline: OFF
Spread: Spurs -1.5 from GTBets.eu
O/U: 200.5

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Both groups have talent across the roster, and both teams will be facing off Wednesday night on ESPN.

San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs are as hot as any team in the league to start the 2012-13 season. They haven’t lost a game yet, and they’re coming off a 101-79 blowout of the Indiana Pacers. What’s even more promising is that that they have shown their value in close games.

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Their first contest against the New Orleans Hornets was a four-point victory, while their nationally televised game against the Oklahoma City Thunder came down to a buzzer-beating jumper by Tony Parker to give them the two-point win.

San Antonio was known as a defensive team for many years, so when they switched to an offensive mentality last season, it caught some people by surprise. This year, however, the Spurs are looking like their old defensive selves. They’re allowing just 89.5 points per game, which is good enough for fourth in the NBA this season. They’re back to running one of the slower, more methodical offenses in the league, which allows them to set up their defense on the other end of the floor.

The upside here is that they’re still scoring 99 points per game. That’s good enough for 12th in the league, and it all starts with legendary big man Tim Duncan. The man in the middle is looking young again averaging 19.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. Nobody on this team is playing more than 32 minutes per game, yet they have four scorers averaging double-digits and seven players scoring more than eight points per game.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers started the season off on the right foot with two victories against two perennial playoff opponents, but they’ve slipped as of late losing games against the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Defensively is where this team needs to improve, as they’re giving up 102.3 points per game. [ad-6571516]

Offensively, this team knows what to do with the basketball. They’re the fifth-highest scoring team in the league, as they average 104.3 points per contest. Chris Paul is getting his points while sharing the ball (18.5 PTS, 11.5 AST), and Blake Griffin is contributing as well (16.3 PTS); but its sixth man Jamal Crawford who has been the big difference maker. He is averaging 24 points per game in just 29.5 minutes. The Spurs may be deep, but they don’t have a threat of Crawford’s ability.

This game is going to come down to which squad can control the pace. The Spurs run one of the slowest paces in all of basketball, while the Clippers run and gun like their lives depend on it. If the Clippers can get out and play fast while scoring at a high rate, they can win this game with the home crowd behind them. However, the Spurs are a veteran group who don’t fall into traps, and if they want to keep this game slow, that’s how they’re going to keep it. San Antonio has proven they can win close games, and if it comes down to it, they’ll show it again on Wednesday night.

Trends

Spurs are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 vs. NBA Pacific.
Spurs are 14-4 ATS in the last 18 meetings.
Spurs are 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings in Los Angeles.
Clippers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
Clippers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Favorite is 12-5 ATS in the last 17 meetings.

Score Prediction: San Antonio Spurs 98 – L.A. Clippers 95

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