And it all comes down to this. In the only game seven of the first round of the playoffs, the Spurs are in L.A. to take on the Clippers with a 2nd round match up against the Rockets awaiting the winner.
Home court has meant little in this series so far, with each team getting two of their three wins on the road, so the fact that this one is at Staples Center shouldn't mean too much.
The Clips, however, should feel good heading into game seven. Not only are they at home, but they are coming off their must win in game six, when they controlled the 2nd half and really the entire Spurs starting lineup. This is the crux of the series: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and the Clips starting lineup has been the best unit so far, but there is a huge difference in the quality of the benches.
The Spurs starters really struggled in game six, with Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard leading the group with 12 points each, though Leonard played 40 minutes and shot 3-15 from the floor. He has to have a much better game to give the Spurs a chance tonight. The starters for the Spurs were a combined -43 in game six, while their bench couldn't make up all that ground.
Of course, the Spurs have won plenty of big games over the years, and this group has an immense amount of experience in this situation, so they won't panic. They need to find the spectacular ball movement that has characterized the recent iterations of the team, and also figure out some way to slow down the pick and roll with Chris Paul. Griffin and DeAndre Jordan (70% from the field in the series) have been feasting, and so far the Spurs have not been able to slow them down much.
It should be a great game. Enjoy it, and chat about it here.