Monday night’s game at Staples Center features two teams many expect to face-off against one another in the Western Conference Finals in 2014: the visiting San Antonio Spurs and the host Los Angeles Clippers. Not only will fans get to see two of the top teams go at it, but also a dual between the two best point guards in the league right now. In a matchup that has both flash and substance, which style of play will get its team the win?
AccuScore has the Clippers as slight 58.1 percent favorites to win Monday night. The average rounded score after 10,000 simulations is: 105-104. They have a 63.3 percent chance of covering the +3 spread. Given that both teams prefer pushing the ball when given the opportunity, it comes as no surprise that the game’s total combined score has nearly a 60 percent chance of going over 203.5. The Clippers are projected to have three to four fewer turnovers than the Spurs and grab four to five more offensive rebounds as well; keep an eye on these extra possessions as they could be the deciding factor in a game projected to be this competitive.
Tony Parker: 17 points (49% FG), 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 TOs
Tim Duncan: 15 points (47% FG), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
Kawhi Leonard: 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 TOs
Blake Griffin: 18 points (50% FG), 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 TOs
Chris Paul: 17 points (45% FG), 10 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 TOs
Jamal Crawford: 16 points (40% FG, 2 3PM), 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 TOs
What to Watch for
Chris Paul has struggled throughout his career against the Spurs – his turnover ratio doubles and he averages under 13 points per game against them. He is projected to get 17 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 TOs.
This matchup is all about flash versus substance. Whichever team can impose their style of play upon the other will not only dictate the pace at which the game is played, but also the outcome. It’s a home game and all the numbers point to a LAC victory; I, however, have learned my lesson when it comes to picking against the Spurs. San Antonio by 4, 101-97 – they get their signature win in L.A.
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin Oncea – USA Today Sports
Projection data provided by AccuScore.