On Tuesday night, the LA Clippers will return home from a brief and relatively successful road trip to take on DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs.
There isn't much recent history to go off of here — the Clippers and Spurs haven't met since Dec. 21, 2019 — and both teams have undergone a fair amount of change since then.
In addition to the entirely new coaching staff, the Clippers have made a push to bring in more skilled veterans (see Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka) as they look to contend for an NBA title in 2021. The two have been stellar through their first handful of appearances, helping the Clippers establish an offensively versatile starting rotation that prioritizes ball movement and floor spacing.
The Spurs, on the other hand, are going all-in on their youth. DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge still play key roles, but the eyes are on Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell and Lonnie Walker — San Antonio's last three first-round selections.
Johnson has been the most impressive of the three this season, averaging 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds across 29.7 minutes per game. Walker is right there with him, though, scoring 12.7 points on 42.3% shooting from three-point range through his first six contests.
As impressive as the Spurs' younger core has looked so far this year, the team hasn't gotten great results. San Antonio is 2-4 on the season and has dropped four games in a row to the New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers (twice) and Utah Jazz.
Nonetheless, the Clippers must be prepared for a fight. The Spurs will be motivated, and LA can't afford to let its guard down.
How to Watch
Matchup: LA Clippers (5-2) vs. San Antonio Spurs (2-4)
Date: Tuesday, January 5
Time: 7:00 p.m. PT
Venue: Staples Center
Broadcast Information: NBA League Pass
Spread: Clippers -9.5
Moneyline: Spurs +340, Clippers -430
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook