Mar 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) is fouled by Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes (22) in also pictured. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
#5: Los Angeles Clippers:
Record: 53-26 / Last ten: 9-1/Conference Record: 34-15
Pacific Division: 2nd Western Conference: 5th
The Los Angeles Clippers are currently tied with Houston but hold the edge via tiebreaks (better conference and division records) so they rank 5th. As mentioned tonight L.A. will play Memphis then finish their schedule versus Denver and at Phoenix. It’s reasonable to assume the Clippers could win all 3 games which once again might not be a bad situation for the Rockets to hope for. It would result in L.A. finishing with a 56-26 record but by virtue of losing their Division they could only move to the 3 seed at best.
They enter tonight’s game on 4-days rest looking to take down the Grizzlies and odds are they’ll take the game with the knowledge they could be sending a message to their first round opponent. The Grizzlies and Clippers have a long standing feud and it does feel like kismet for this pairing to end up becoming a reality.
Their likely first round match:
It’s feasible the Clippers could fall to sixth, but given the competition they face unlikely. Odds are they win a minimum of two games (likely all three) and end up third awaiting either Houston or Memphis as a first round opponent. My gut tells me just like the rematch of the Blazers seems destined for the Rockets the Clippers facing the Grizzlies feels so appropriate.
There will be a spotlight on this team entering the post season for much different reasons than last season. They’ve failed to demonstrate their regular season effectiveness in the post season and this season feels like their last chance to do so with the existing core. That would be a very difficult battle versus Memphis and even versus Houston despite the historical dominance of L.A. over Houston.
Best Position Spurs can finish: 56-26: Southwest Division Winner, second seed
Worst Position Spurs can finish: 54-28:
Next: Adversity can still pay off