San Antonio Spurs (4-0) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (2-2)
It is always kind of amazing to watch the great franchises be great. It seems even in this early part of the season that the Spurs continue not to get the respect they deserve. San Antonio is the only Western Conference team left unbeaten while the other contenders go through their own soul searching early on.
San Antonio has none of that. With little turnover on the roster, the Spurs came into the season ready to play and ready to take the early lead for the West's top spot -- something the Spurs know does not guarantee them anything in the postseason.
Tim Duncan looks like has found the fountain of youth and Tony Parker is in complete command of the offense. And Gregg Popovich will have another inter-quarter interview to show that he is in fine form.
The Clippers, on the other hand, are one of those contenders in turmoil. Los Angeles has lost two straight games including one to the plucky young team from Cleveland. Grant Hill is hurt. Chaucney Billups is hurt. Chris Paul is putting up great numbers but it is not quite the same feel to Lob City right now.
The Spurs were the team that swept the Clippers out of the Playoffs last year and so this measuring stick game comes with the two teams feeling headed in opposite directions at this early juncture.
Other Storylines to Watch
-One of the reasons Blake Griffin might be struggling to start the season is the various injuries Griffin is playing through. Griffin is playing through a neck strain and a burst bursa sac in his elbow. Those can be quite painful. But Vinny Del Negro said Griffin is a tough kid and he will soldier on and suit up for this game tonight.
-The Clippers are fully Team Jordan now. Griffin officially signed with the shoe brand joining teammate Chris Paul.
Tonight's Other Games
Phoenix Suns (1-3) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (1-1)
There is not a lot expected out of either of these two teams. You would be hard pressed to find a prediction that does not have both near the bottom of their respective conferences. But that does not mean there are not intriguing matchups. Kemba Walker and his explosive scoring goes up against Goran Dragic. Two defensive minded centers go up against each other in Marcin Gortat and Bismack Biyombo. And Luis Scola goes up against the defense of Brendan Haywood.
MORE TO COME!