Almost seemingly doomed to forever be the other team in Los Angeles, the Clippers shocked the basketball world as they acquired New Orléans Hornets’ guard, Chris Paul, the same player whose trade NBA Commissioner David Stern halted when Paul was to be dealt to the Lakers. In a game that would be a litmus test for the Spurs team as they tested this newly formed threat in the conference, the Clippers’ powerhouse Blake Griffin had a good team behind him to help take some of the focus from him, with Paul and fellow new arrival Chauncey Billups, some of the focus taken off Griffin as Paul and Billups can light up the scoreboard.
Not at all phased by the Clipper’s daunting new line-up, the Spurs took the challenge head on and came out victorious as Manu Ginobili and DeJuan Blair toasted the Clipper defense, Ginobili, scoring 24 points including five 3-pointers to propel, and the first eleven points for the Spurs who started the game very sluggish. Blair, who had the opportunity to guard and go against Griffin, lit him up for 20 points and managed to snag away a total of six rebounds, four of those six offensive rebounds.
The defense of the Spurs held the Clippers to just below 40% shooting, despite allowing Griffin to rack up 28 points, Paul was held to a meager 3-10 only scoring 10 points. Aside from Griffin’s 28, none of the Clippers managed to score more than 12 points, effectively held in check by the tight Spurs’ defense. Forfeiting three steals, and committing 12 turnovers to the Spurs defense, all three steals ended up as points for the Spurs.
Many Spurs fans felt so against having Richard Jefferson on the team and celebrating when early news came about during the off-season that he was to be released and amnestied, I was one of those people who was anti-Jefferson, but after the effort put forth tonight and the game against Memphis, i have since recanted my statements and love what Richard Jefferson has done. On a little hot streak these past few games and making me a believer in him.
Although I do have my doubts of him, but Jefferson has convinced me to believe in him, sinking 8-9 shots from the field, and 3-4 from three-point range, ranking up 19 total points. He played the game with a sense of urgency, as if somebody had lit a fire under him, I seriously doubt it, but maybe he was tipped off about a non-believer being in attendance at the AT&T Center, and he wanted to convert me, and he certainly has converted me. I firmly believe that Jefferson will have a career year this season, and earn his pay check, showing exactly why we are paying him $30 million dollars.
With two great wins under them, the Spurs hit the road, bound for Houston to take on the Rockets in the Toyota Center, a team that the Spurs played against and split the two preseason games between them, but now with the Big Three playing more minutes and team chemistry higher than in the preseason, the game against the Rockets is a should win for this team and will prove to be a good game as the Rockets are not the pushovers they’ve been in recent years.
– Richard Perez
Bonus Picture, I thought this was pretty funny!