Los Angeles Clippers: Patrick Mills

First Look: San Antonio Spurs

May, 13, 2012

LOS ANGELES -- It's been more than a month since the San Antonio Spurs have lost a game.

In that 32-day span, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan & Co. have gone 14-0, beating opponents by an average of more than 17 points per game. They've won as many games by more than 25 points -- three -- as they have by single digits.

Suffice it to say, San Antonio has been hot. And now the Los Angeles Clippers, having snuck by the Memphis Grizzlies in Sunday's Game 7 at the FedEx Forum, will play them in the Western Conference semifinals, beginning Tuesday in Texas.

It'll be a challenge, one that will go a long way toward shaping the public perception of Chris Paul's first season in Clipperland. If the Clippers somehow get by the Spurs, the year will be anointed a success, regardless of what happens in the next round(s).

But if they don't -- and, worse, if they get swept -- opinions will likely be somewhat split. Some will say coach Vinny Del Negro did enough to keep his job, considering the injuries and fast-paced schedule his team had to deal with over the past five months. Others will say he didn't, considering the two stars he had at his disposal and the bevy of other talent assembled for him during the 2011-12 season.

So, while we wait for that question to be answered, can the Clippers actually win this series?

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