San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers 10/31/19: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Daily Fantasy
San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers Preview
The San Antonio Spurs are the last remaining undefeated team in the Western Conference, but they’ve had a relatively lighter schedule to start the season and have been at home. That record will be tested tonight as former Spur Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers welcome the Spurs into the Staples Center tonight for a game that somehow did not make it on the National TV schedule.
The Clippers also got off to a nice start and have looked like a defensive juggernaut, but they have lost against the Suns and are coming into tonight’s game on a loss against the Utah Jazz in a load management game for Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs are on a few days rest after winning in the final seconds against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Clippers will be their second consecutive opponent playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but a fresh Kawhi puts a spin on that.
Time: 10:30 PM ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Channel: KENS, FSPT
Spurs: No injuries
Clippers: Paul George, Amir Coffey (O), Rodney McGruder (GTD)
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
The Spurs have been in some tight games to start the season against the Knicks, Wizards and Trail Blazers. On Monday night against Portland, the Spurs got off to a terrible start, trailing by double digits early. But they were able to dig themselves out of the hole to start the second half and went up big before nearly giving it all away. Damian Lillard got a clean look at a three-point shot that rattled in and out.
Aside from LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, the story so far has been the return of Dejounte Murray, who has looked very good in limited minutes. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said prior to the Blazers game that Murray was being limited to about five minutes per quarter and would sit out one game in back-to-backs, so he could sit out tonight, but considering the Spurs are on two day’s rest, it makes more sense to sit him against the injury-riddled Golden State Warriors tomorrow.
“One game isn’t that important to put him out there when the docs feel he shouldn’t be,” Popovich said after the win against Portland.
Derrick White, who is playing in a new role as he comes off the bench for Murray, had struggled a bit but broke out in the Portland win, scoring 21 points. One of the early developments that has been interesting is Popovich’s decision to start Trey Lyles while Lonnie Walker IV and DeMarre Carroll have received between little to no playing time so far.
LA Clippers Starting Lineup
The Clippers are looking like the league’s stingiest defense early on this season. They’ve also had no problems putting up a bunch of points, but they have had their share of early hiccups, losing to the surprising Phoenix Suns, and dropping last night’s game 110-96 against the Utah Jazz.
It was the first game of the season that Kawhi Leonard was kept out due to load management, a term that became popular in San Antonio and also in Toronto last season.
“Our goal is to have him playing and being fresh all year, and we’re doing that so far,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said about Leonard.
Without Leonard, the Clippers struggled on offense, with only one starter, Lou Williams, reaching double figures. Williams, who normally comes off the bench had 24 points starting in place of Leonard. It took all the other four starters combined to reach 24 points. JaMychal Green also had a big game off the bench with 23 points, but it wasn’t enough against the Jazz, who finally got a big game from Mike Conley.
Key Player Matchups
DeMar DeRozan vs. Kawhi Leonard
This was a fun battle to watch last season and Leonard and DeRozan traded places in an offseason trade. In the first game, DeRozan went off and he got the better of Leonard, while Leonard avenged that in the second meeting, and even swiped DeRozan late in the game to edge out the Spurs. The matchup continues tonight. DeRozan hasn’t had the smoothest of starts, but he seemed to shake off the rust last game. Leonard has been dominant this season and he’ll be on fresh legs.
Dejounte Murray vs. Patrick Beverley
A few years ago, in the playoffs with Tony Parker injured and Beverley as a member of the Houston Rockets, Murray received his true welcome to the NBA moment from the veteran as he continued to pick Murray’s pockets in what was his rookie year in a playoff series. At the time, Leonard, then a member of the Spurs, and Murray still managed to get past the Rockets in what was a key moment in the young point guard’s development. Now Beverley is teamed up with Kawhi, but this is a much different Murray, with a lot more confidence. I’m sure Beverley will be ready for the challenge.
LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Ivica Zubac
Zubac has been a great addition to the Clippers since he joined them via a midseason trade last season, but the young center isn’t quite on the same level as the all-star Aldridge just yet. Zubac’s height advantage should help him from defending Aldridge’s turn around, high release fallback jumper, but that’s hardly the only tool in Aldridge’s bag.
Former teammates Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge are stud picks in tonight’s matchups. Leonard is available for $9.5k on FanDuel and is projected for 43.84 points after resting last night. Aldridge struggled a bit against his former team on Monday night, but other than that, he’s been huge for the Spurs so far this season. He is available for $7.2k and is projected to finish with 40.33 points.
I believe every time I’ve talked about value picks for the Clippers, I’ve mentioned Montrezl Harrell. He’s my pick again tonight with a projection of 30.92 points and a salary of $6.4k. Dejounte Murray may be on a minutes restriction for the Spurs, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting up some eye-opening numbers so far. He has a 5.18 points per $1k value, projected for 30.59 points for a steal at $5.9k.
Bet on Matchup
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