Shootaround: Battle of the Benches

Los Angeles Clippers (7-2) vs. San Antonio Spurs (8-2)
8:30 p.m.

The Clippers like to think they have the deepest team in the league. With Jamal Crawford regaining his Sixth Man of the Year form from his days in Atlanta and happily pouring in points off the bench as a change of pace guard when Chris Paul steps out, it is hard to argue against it.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images/ZimbioThen you remember that Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill are hurt and could add further depth to this team later in the season. Then you remember that Eric Bledsoe comes off the bench along with Matt Barnes and Lamar Odom, all guys that are adept at filling their roles.

And then you remember L.A.'s starting lineup is pretty good.

If there is one group that can make the beginning of the second quarter interesting when the team's starters get their first breathers, it is the group from San Antonio.

Manu Ginobili has long been a stalwart off San Antonio's bench and is capable of playing starter's minutes and producing at a starter's rate.

The Spurs bench also has veteran players like Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal along with promising young bigs in DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter. The Spurs bench is as capable of carrying their team as any group.

And so the Clippers and Spurs will be an interesting matchup not only to watch Chris Paul and Tony Parker battle or to watch Tim Duncan face Blake Griffin but also for the battle of these very complete rosters.

Other Storylines to Watch

-DeAndre Jordan has really stepped up his game this year. His newfound offense, averaging 10.2 points per game, makes him extremely difficult to handle and take off the floor because of his superb defense.

-Tim Duncan has found the fountain of youth a bit, averaging 17.8 points per game to lead San Antonio.

Tonight's Other Games

Indiana Pacers (4-7) vs. Washington Wizards (0-8)
7 p.m.

The Wizards are still winless, but have a decent excuse. Both Nene and John Wall, arguably the team's two best players are out. What impact could they have when they get back? Nene says he and Wall will be the miracle Washington needs.

Milwaukee Bucks (6-2) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (4-4)
7 p.m.

The Bobcats have been one of the nice stories of the early part of the NBA season. Charlotte though received some bad news. Tyrus Thomas will be out indefinitely after an MRI discovered a torn plantaris muscle in his left leg.

Orlando Magic (3-6) vs. Atlanta Hawks (4-4)
7:30 p.m./NBATV

First, is Marcin Gortat available? And would Phoenix trade him. If he is, several teams including Gortat's former team, the Magic, are reportedly interested in the Polish center. Dallas, Boston and Chicago might also be in the running.

Denver Nuggets (4-6) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (8-1)
8 p.m.

Denver has not quite taken the Western Conference by storm as some suspected when Andre Iguodala arrived. One reason is the Nuggets' struggles shooting the ball. Iguodala believes that the team is still coming together and that might explain some of the struggles.

Golden State Warriors (5-5) vs. Dallas Mavericks (6-5)
8:30 p.m.

Dallas is looking for more consistent point guard play off the bench to help support Darren Collison. One player out thre that Dallas is considering: Derek Fisher. Now that could be quite a defection after years of Fisher tormenting the Mavericks.

Houston Rockets (4-6) vs. Utah Jazz (5-6)
9 p.m.

One thing Jeremy Lin likes about Houston? He said it is really low key and he doesn't have to hide in public or else spark a media frenzy. Lin has not quite matched his play from that two-week run in New York, but he is growing and improving as a player as the starter in Houston. Lin obviously still has a long way to go.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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