They are seven words
"No one thinks you're going to win."
It's true. Even though the third-seeded Clippers finished with one more victory than sixth-seeded San Antonio, it's the
The sports betting website Bovada gave the Spurs 2-to-1 odds to win the Western Conference title. The Clippers? Try 9-1.
It seems all those years of early playoff exits and
"According to pretty much every single poll," Clippers forward Blake Griffin said, "we're supposed to lose."
That's something neither team in the series has done much of lately. The Clippers enter having won seven consecutive games and 14 of their last 15. The Spurs have won 21 of their last 25 games.
One of those streaks is going to skew in the other direction fairly quickly.
Here's a closer look at the Clippers-Spurs matchup:
FORWARDS: Griffin and
BENCH: The Clippers have one of the worst benches in the league with little of substance beyond sixth man Jamal Crawford, who has made only 10 of 36 shots (27.8%) since returning from a five-week absence caused by a bruised right calf. The Spurs' reserves averaged 41.0 points a game, the second-highest total in the league, and regularly receive step-up performances from Ginobili,
COACHES: Rivers against
INTANGIBLES: The Clippers have home-court advantage, which is significant considering they went 30-11 this season at Staples Center. They also may be secretly hoping Popovich employs the hack-a-Jordan strategy, considering the Clippers have gone 15-2 since 2013 in games in which Jordan has shot at least 12 free throws.
PICK: Clippers in seven games.