Prior to games that had been played over the last two days, the playoff seeding felt guaranteed. Spurs. Thunder. Clippers. Rockets. Trail Blazers. Warriors. The Suns, Mavericks and Grizzlies would let the last few games of the season figure out the seventh and eighth seed. But a lot has changed since then.
- The Thunder defeated the Clippers, killing Los Angeles’ chances of creeping into the number two seed. It’d take a Thunder collapse for the Clippers to one-up them, but that seems highly unlikeable.
As far as I can tell, the Clippers can still win the 2 by winning out if OKC loses out, Clippers tie at 58, pass OKC in conf record
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 12, 2014
- The Spurs defeated the Suns and Mavericks in back-to-back games, allowing the Grizzlies to creep back into the eighth seed as of today. Based on numbers, the Grizzlies winning the rest of their games could allow them to avoid the Spurs in the 1-8 matchup.
- Golden State losing to Denver opened up a possibility of Dallas/Phoenix/Memphis sliding into the sixth seed. A total collapse, one that’d be rare considering the teams talent, could force them to slide out of the playoffs, causing the apocalypse in Oakland.
- The Rockets losing to the ‘Wolves tonight, a game where they allowed 51 points from Corey Brewer and let Gorgui Dieng, a rookie, hit a game winner, has the team a half-game up on the Portland Trail Blazers as the teams duke it out for the fourth seed. Bad news for the Rockets if they can’t finish the season on a winning note: they’ll lose home court to the Blazers, a team that has won six of its last seven games since Lamarcus Aldridge returned from injury. Houston leads the series 3-1.
For the Clippers, they’re hope is that Memphis doesn’t fall to the six seed. While this isn’t the same team we saw concede a 2-0 victory to in the opening round of the playoffs last year, the Grizzlies are playing their best basketball of the season and they provide a matchup problem for the Clips as they can’t rely on reserve bigs to make a consistent impact.
In all honesty, each team delivers a different perspective for the Clippers. Dynamic guards in Phoenix and Golden State. Dynamic bigs in Memphis. The combination of Rick Carlisle and Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas. Of the four teams possible playoff matchups, here are their series records versus the Clips:
- versus Dallas: 3-1
- versus Phoenix: 3-1
- versus Golden State: 2-2
- versus Memphis: 1-2
With only eight days left until the playoffs, scoreboard watching will be a popular act throughout the Los Angeles Clippers fan base to see how the road to the NBA Finals pans out.