It’s funny how things work.
After having their best season in franchise history, one that included a breakout season by the franchise player in Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers hope for the number two seed in the Western Conference comes down to the hands of… Josh Smith.
Yes, Josh Smith, the player that exceeds around the basket, yet continues to settle for jump shots. In fact, they have to depend on the entire Detroit Pistons squad, a team that has lumbered under expectations after putting together a poorly fitting starting lineup.
Here is what has to happen for the Clippers to get the number two seed in the West:
- Clippers have to win out the remainder of their schedule which means defeating Denver and Portland. Since Portland clinched the 5-seed, they could see a team resting its starters.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder have to lose to the Pistons after dropping tonight’s matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans (Tyreke Evans scored a LOT of points).
If everything above plays out, that’d leave both teams at 58-24 to end the season. Since the teams split the season series 2-2, the tiebreaker comes down to who had the better conference record. At the moment, the Thunder have a conference record of 36-16, but by winning the last two games of the season, the Clippers end this year with a conference record of 37-15.
Considering how tight the bottom three seeds are at the moment, the matchups aren’t definite. Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely for the Golden State Warriors. Dallas has clinched the seven seed and are a team that has given both the Clippers and Thunder problems. The Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns are currently fighting for the last playoff seed at this moment.
Want some hope Clippers fans? Well, there isn’t exactly any except for the fact that Kevin Durant may be a bit gassed going into the last game of the season and with the Clippers on their trail. In their lone game of the season, the Thunder defeated the Pistons 119-110. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined 57 points while the rest of the team played exceptionally well sans Kendrick Perkins. For the Pistons, everyone played well also, but it came down to them being able to stop the Thunder on offense and, well, that didn’t happen as OKC scored 99 points through the last three quarters.
One can only hope for the two seed. It’s a possibility and the Clips should definitely shoot for it if the scenario sticks.
With that said, GO JOSH SMITH. FATE IS IN YOUR HANDS.