The NBA defending champion San Antonio Spurs are vying for a repeat. Standing in their way are a dangerous and determined Los Angeles Clippers team looking to raise a championship banner of their own. Will Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Co. put themselves in the position they should have been in a season ago, destined for the west finals? Or, have the San Antonio Spurs awaken from their regular season meditation just in time to lay waste to the opposition? Team S.U. join forces to deliver the goods — NBA playoffs predictions.
2015 NBA Playoffs: Spurs vs Clippers Round 1 Series Predictions
Keith Rivas (Editor): The Spurs are going to knock around the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of this year’s NBA Playoffs. San Antonio has been kicking it into high gear at all the right peaks and valleys of the season and the first round will be no different. Plus, there’s not too much longer for Tim Duncan & Co. to get another ring.
The momentum rests on the Spurs side for another reason — his name is Kawhi Leonard. The reigning NBA Finals MVP still hasn’t got much other love from the association and he’ll be ready to earn (more like over earn) his due.
The Clippers are just trying to get by, and thanks to the luck of the draw will have another early exit.
Prediction: Spurs (4-2)
Steve Turner (NBA Writer): The Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs matchup is going to be another interesting series. Both of these teams have been extremely hot lately. The Spurs are notorious for turning up the heat around the end of the season and during the playoffs which isn’t a good thing for the Clippers. The Clippers have seen first round exits in the past and they might be facing another one, but they have the talent to win this series though. With the big three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers have several offensive weapons.
The player matchups are what the Clippers will need to overcome this Spurs team. Chris Paul will be matched up with Tony Parker, Blake Griffin will be matched up with Tim Duncan, and DeAndre Jordan will be matched up with Tiago Splitter.
CP3 and Griffin will have their hands full, but DeAndre can really take advantage of the Spurs centers. DeAndre Jordan has become such an elite post player this season and can grab an insane amount of rebounds in which his team will really benefit from.
Prediction: Although the Clippers have a great chance of winning this series, I believe they are looking at another first round exit. I’m taking the Spurs in 6.
Sauping R. Arguello (NBA Contributor): Despite the Los Angeles Clippers being the third seed and having home court advantage, I feel San Antonio still has the edge. San Antonio was on an eleven game winning streak until losing the final game of the season to the New Orleans Pelicans. They have caught fire during the most important time of the year. Coach Popovich has his players well rested and ready to make one final run at another championship and their first back-to-back.
The point guard match up between Chris Paul and Tony Parker will be a good indicator which way the series will sway. DeAndre Jordan must be at his defensive best when facing Tim Duncan, who has shown flashes of the “Timmy” of old. I see Kawhi Leonard having another breakout playoffs, establishing himself as one of the premiere stars of this league. The San Antonio ball movement and execution will be too much for a Clipper team already lacking in defensive intensity.
Prediction: I pick San Antonio in 6 (4-2)
Jr. Williams (Editor): This will be another epic battle as both teams have a superior starting five which should result in tough matchups among the guard and forward positions. Be prepared to witness this series go the distance (6-7 games) as both teams can score effectively. The Spurs have the edge when it boils down to having the most compete roster, and they can’t be ignored from a defensive perspective. Dare I mention overall team play, where the Spurs perform like a perfectly tuned system. I don’t think there’s a team in the league who performs as efficient at ball rotation and discovering the perfect shot opportunity.
As for the Clippers, DeAndre Jordan could either make or break this team during the playoffs. His ability to rebound and finish around the basket makes him a great asset, however, his inability to make free-throws down the stretch could make him a liability.
Overall, the Clippers will have their hands full– both teams have coaches with NBA Finals experience, unfortunately, Greg Popovich has enjoyed greater success. Popovich thrives during the postseason where he gets the most out of his players– You’d be a fool to bet against him during the first round.
The odds are stacked against the Clippers as this is a first round matchup from hell–the only thing they have in their favor is the Spurs incapability to win back-to-back NBA titles.
Prediction: San Antonio in 7 (4-3)