The Los Angeles Clippers have a couple days to gather themselves in anticipation for what could be the most important game of the season thus far. On Wednesday night, the Clippers who currently hold the three seed, will host the second seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the Staples Center. This is a contest in which LAC could overtake the Thunder for that second seed, as the Clippers are only a game behind Oklahoma City in the standings.
Chris Paul and company are also playing for a 3-1 record against OKC on the season, which would help bolster their chances for the two seed. Many believe the Clippers shouldn’t expend any extra effort in an attempt to attain the two seed, but as I’ve mentioned before the prospect of playing Golden State in the first round is not an appealing one as they are a team who loves to give the Clippers tough, hard-nosed, physically draining basketball games. A (3-1) mark against OKC would also guarantee the Clippers the tie-breaker over the Thunder in the event they end up with the same regular season records.
Oklahoma City is coming off a loss at the hands of the Phoenix Suns who outshot Kevin Durant and company to gain a 122-115 last night in Phoenix. The victory was overlooked because KD scored at least 25 points for the 41st consecutive time passing Michael Jordan’s mark. But Durant knows that wasn’t important, as he told reporters last night, “I don’t really care about it,” he said. “I can’t wait until it’s over.” KD realizes that the gap between them and LAC has closed and the Thunder will need all hands on deck if they wish to hang on to that number two seed. Their quest begins tomorrow night in Sacramento where they will attempt to snap their two game losing streak.
On the other hand, the Los Angeles Clippers have been sitting in the three seed since the all star break, and their goal has been more so stave off the Houston Rockets then attempt to pass the Thunder. But now, the opportunity has arisen and if the Clippers are up the challenge the second seed is attainable. LAC got their 5th win in the last 6 games last night with 120-97 blowout of the Lakers. Regardless of this, overtaking OKC will be difficult. Essentially, the Clippers need to win their remaining four games, they face OKC, Sacramento, Denver, and then Portland in the Rose garden. They will need the Thunder to drop two of their final 5 games, seeing that the Clips are two back in the loss column. OKC will finish with Sacramento, LAC, NOLA, Indiana, NOLA again, and Detroit.
So now, the Clippers who have been in a lull for the past month or so feeling as if they were stuck with the three seed now have something to reach for. While the Thunder probably won’t drop two of these final games, a win on wednesday night for the Clippers could certainly make things interest as the final week of the regular seasons begins.