Team Records: LA Clippers (57-24) at Portland (53-28)
Game Info: 7:30 PM-TV on KGW/ESPN, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: Portland -4
Refs: Danny Crawford, Bennie Adams, Mark Ayotte
Playoff Picture: Portland has secured the #5 seed and will open the playoffs against Houston.
The Skinny: The Blazers look to put on a show as they conclude the regular season in a game meaningless to them and likely to be the same for the Clippers. LA could move up to the #2 slot with a win in the unlikely event Detroit beat OKC at home but outside of that they are stuck at #3. It is likely that we will see some crazy lineups tonight with a lot of the star players likely to rest.
Last Time They Met: The Clippers came out on top in a game that featured a NBA record 40 lead changes as Griffin and CP3 led the way to a LA win.
Projected Clippers Lineup:
NOTE: This would be LA’s normal starting lineup but due to rest it may be much different
PF-Glen Davis (LSU-7th Season)-9.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.2 APG.
SF-Matt Barnes (UCLA-11th Season)-9.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2 APG.
C-DeAndre Jordan (Texas A&M-6th Season)-10.5 PPG, 13.7 RPG, .9 APG
SG-Jamal Crawford (Michigan-14th Season)-18.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.2 APG.
PG-Chris Paul (Wake Forest-9th Season)-19.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 10.7 APG.
Player to Watch-Matt Barnes (pictured at right) – Barnes cultivated a reputation in the first several years of his NBA career as an enforcer. He was the guy you would put in to let the other team know you would not be pushed around. This year he still does that but he does more than that besides. Barnes is no star but he’s a decent shooter, a good enough rebounder and an okay passer. On a team featuring Griffin and CP3, he is exactly what the Clippers need, a guy who does the hard work and doesn’t care as much about putting up big stats.
Did You Know?: The Clippers franchise, going all the way back to their days as the Buffalo Braves, has never been to the Conference Finals.
Song of the Day: “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” by Bachman Turnver Overdrive-Its been a great regular season but hopefully this team will show us that we indeed ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Enjoy:
LA Clippers: Out-SG JJ Reddick (Rest), SF Danny Granger (Hamstring), PF Blake Griffin (Suspension)
Re-Evaluating the Clippers: Can They Make Some Noise?
This ain’t your daddy’s Clips team, they are no longer the joke of the NBA, far from it. This Clippers bunch is loaded, well coached and looks to be playing well right as the playoffs begin. Sure they will face plenty of obstacles, most notably a likely matchup with OKC in the second round but they have the weapons to beat almost any opponent. They won’t be the favorites but they are certainly capable of making a lot of noise and playing well into late May and early June.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They put on a show. Wednesday is about thanking the fans for a great regular season. Go out there, have fun and don’t worry about the result.
LA Clippers win if: No one gets injured. As long as no one gets injured on the Clippers, they won’t have any problem with whatever way Wednesday’s game turns out.