The Los Angeles Clippers for a few short hours drew even with the Lakers in the race for the #3 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. It was due in large part to their excellent 3-point, but Kenyon Martin did his fair share as well; he tipped a Chris Paul missed midrange jumper in to help take the lead with only 40 seconds left and then he blocked a Ty Lawson lay-up out of a brilliantly designed in-bounds play by George Carl. The play consisted of Lawson inbounding the ball and then zigzagging around larger teammates to slow his man down behind and then went up for an alley-oop. It was mi-sthrown a bit though, and Kenyon Martin had time to get over and block the shot. Martin had a solid game all-around, scoring 10 points and recording 2 blocks, none more important than the last one.
Chris Paul had a phenomenal game; he recorded 21 points It is my belief that Paul needs to be in the MVP conversation this year if the Clippers end up surpassing the Lakers for third place in the West. To me, he is more valuable to the Clippers than LeBron James or Kevin Durant are to their respective teams, because both of those other rosters are slightly better than the Clippers’ roster. Additionally, Paul’s impact in the 4th quarter is probably the best in the league.
If the Lakers lose their game to the Golden State Warriors, then the Clippers will hold the Pacific Division lead for the first time since near the beginning of the year. The Spurs meanwhile have quietly been playing the best in the West and now have a half game lead over the Thunder. It is shaping out to be an excellent playoff push this season with almost every playoff-bound having either a seed or homefield advantage to play for, and the Clippers for the first time in years are right in the thick of it.