The San Antonio Spurs were crushed in Game 1, and the defending champions will need a reaction against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles.
When: Thursday April 23, 03:30 (UK time)
Watch live: Click here to watch on BT Sport online!
The Clippers secured a 107-92 win in the first meeting, and they seemingly had all the answers for the Spurs on both ends of the floor with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul leading the charge.
DeAndre Jordan’s presence in the paint on the defensive end was also an issue for the visitors, but given Gregg Popovich’s experience and ability to make adjustments and win, this should be a completely different story.
While San Antonio will also know that they can shoot the ball a lot better than they did in the first meeting, they have had similar issues in the past with Serge Ibaka for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On that occasion they eventually worked it out and prevailed, and it would come as no surprise if they produced a repeat performance here.
San Antonio shot 36.6 percent but know that they also need to improve defensively too, and so there is a lot riding on this game as it could shape the rest of the series.
This Clippers team is also highly athletic and can cause them numerous problems, and unless they find a way to slow CP3, it could be another long night as the floor general had his way in Game 1.
Nevertheless, the biggest thing will be to make their open shots and Paul knows that is something that the Clippers must improve on or they could be punished. In addition, Thiago Splitter is expected to play more minutes and that will play a key role in at least restricting Griffin who had a field day against Aron Baynes.
All in all, this remains one of the most intriguing match-ups in the first round and should the Spurs fall 0-2 behind, it could spell real trouble for them in their bid to win back-to-back championships for the first time.
Tony Parker should be fine after picking up a knock last time out, but the Frenchman and his teammates need to find their efficiency and navigate their way past Jordan.
One thing that will have reassured them is their ability to outscore the Clippers with their respective benches, although Doc Rivers has had time to rest his starters and will be expected to give him extended minutes again.
Regardless, this is a game that has Spurs win written all over it as they will have gone away from the loss and figured out what they need to do. A quick start is essential to quieten the Staples Center, and if they can do that then expect them to have the better of their rivals.
Prediction: Spurs to win.