The Los Angeles Clippers have secured a spot in the NBA Playoffs for the ninth time in the past ten seasons. The First-Round offers some interesting matchups for the Clippers. Tyronn Lue’s first season as head coach has LAC headed for a third place finish in the West. With a couple days left in the regular season and much to play for, here’s an assessment of LAC’s possible playoff opponents in the First-Round.
Portland Trail Blazers (41-29)
Paul George will be hoping to avoid the Portland Trail Blazers in the First-Round. The Blazers knocked him out in 2019, while he was a part of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Damian Lillard hit a seemingly impossible buzzer-beater in Game 5.
In addition, the Blazers have been one of the most deadly teams on the offensive end this season. Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Carmelo Anthony have Portland up to fifth in points per game. Jusuf Nurkic has also gotten back to his best after a gruesome leg injury.
Lillard has had PG13’s number in the past, but Los Angeles may be too strong for Portland.
Season Series: LAC 3-0 Blazers
Dallas Mavericks (41-29)
A rematch of last season’s First-Round of LAC v Dallas Mavericks is looking like the most likely outcome. The Mavs had a rough start to the season, but have climbed as high as fifth recently.
Luka Doncic has put up MVP numbers, averaging 28 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists. Los Angeles fans will remember his game-winning shot against LAC in the postseason last season.
The Mavs have been a dangerous team in the second half of the regular season and a team that could surprise people in the First-Round.
Season Series: LAC 1-2 Mavericks
Los Angeles Lakers (40-31)
The returning champs have not had the easiest of seasons. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have both had injury problems, with James just starting to return. The Los Angeles Lakers, currently seventh in the West, are headed to the Play-Ins.
LAL had a tough April, but since Davis has returned to the lineup, they have looked like a real team. A three game win streak with impressive wins against the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, has the Lakers looking like a force again.
They still have a shot to sneak into the fifth or sixth seed, but the Mavs or Blazers will have to stumble for that to happen. The Clippers should be hoping the Lakers stay in seventh. No one wants to meet a team led by LeBron in the playoffs. Even if it is a semi-injured LeBron.
Season Series: LAC 3-0 Lakers
No matter which team the Clippers face, their will be an interesting narrative in each.
- Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard vs. Paul George Round 2
- Mavericks: Clippers vs. Mavericks Rematch
- Lakers: Cross-Town Rivalry
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