SAN ANTONIO SPURS (4-0)
at LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (2-2)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: San Antonio -2, Total: 200.5
The Spurs march into Los Angeles on Wednesday looking to expand upon their undefeated season when they take on the Clippers.
San Antonio is finally healthy and that is trouble for the rest of the NBA. The Spurs are off to a 4-0 start and were without Manu Ginobili in their first two games. With Ginobili getting back into the swing of things, they are a scary team, which the Clippers know all too well after they were swept in last year's playoffs by San Antonio. The Spurs have had great success against the Clippers, going 24-2 SU (18-8 ATS) in the past 26 meetings overall, and prevailing in 24 of the past 28 matchups in Los Angeles.
Can the Clippers get a rare win over San Antonio? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. Last year, StatFox Dave won 62% ATS Best Bets in the regular season and was 5-0 ATS in the NBA Finals. StatFox Brian finished 59% ATS Best Bets in the 2011-2012 regular season. This season, all four experts are 50% ATS or better in Best Bets. StatFox Scott has started 9-3 (75%) in NBA Totals while StatFox Brian is 10-3 (77%) in NBA Totals.
The Spurs have started off the season playing classic Gregg Popovich basketball. They are balanced throughout the team, getting contributions from their All-Stars in Tony Parker (16.8 PPG, 8.5 APG) and Tim Duncan, who has turned back the clock early in the year and is averaging 19.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 2.5 BPG. The Spurs have also been getting production out of their promising young forward, Kawhi Leonard, who is averaging 11.8 PPG and 5.0 RPG this season while also playing lockdown defense. This team is tough from top to bottom and was nearly mistake-free in Monday's 101-79 win over Indiana, committing just eight turnovers.
The Clippers, on the other hand, are still trying to find their way early on. They added a lot of talent to their roster with the additions of Jamal Crawford (who is averaging an absurd 24.0 PPG through the first four games, 4th-best in NBA), Lamar Odom and Grant Hill, who is out indefinitely with a knee injury. They unfortunately will not have Chauncey Billups (Achilles) and Trey Thompkins (knee) in this one, but this team is still one of the deepest in the league. The Clippers are going to need Chris Paul to continue his hot start (18.5 PPG, 11.5 APG) for his team to have a chance in this one, while Blake Griffin (16.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG) is going to have to play beyond his years against a smart, savvy veteran like Duncan. The Clippers are stacked with talent, but they have been too lax on the defensive end in the past two losses, allowing 111.0 PPG at home to Golden State and Cleveland, who are certainly not traditional NBA powerhouses.