It would be a date with destiny for L.A. Lakers and Clippers

The Clippers have been unable recently to defeat quality teams, and that's probably not a good thing when looking ahead to the playoffs.

As crummy as they have been, who has spent more time with the Clippers? I'm with them.

But now I need them to finish third if there is any chance of the Clippers and Lakers meeting.

You take the top five candidates for MVP honors, and after probably giving it to LeBron JamesKevin Durant, Tony Parker, Paul and Bryant are right there.

Paul already has made the Clippers relevant, which should qualify him for something on the same level as sainthood. It's already been certified a miracle.

But now I need more out of him. He can't let Lob City become a sob story.

Paul had 18 points in the first half against Memphis, and thank you, but when a team is forced to start Matt Barnes, how can it be taken seriously as a NBA championship contender?

The Clippers have lost their edge. Their second unit is no longer special.

If they finish lower than third, they will be a huge disappointment even though they will become the first L.A. Clippers team to win a division title.

If the Clippers fall permanently to fourth, and they began in fourth Wednesday night, they will play either Memphis or Denver in the first round.

Denver has won 10 in a row, is unbeatable at home and still has nine home games remaining. They are right behind the Clippers.

If the Clippers finish fifth, they had best hope they don't begin the playoffs on the road in Denver.

If they fall out of third and find themselves playing in Memphis at some point, I worry I might have to hold my nose and even criticize them.

I TWEETED everyone earlier in the day while stating the obvious: "This is such a big nite for NBA memphians — they get to stay up, see pics of LA and dream of what it would be like to live there."

What a surprise to learn a third-world city has so many tweeting machines. It gave the poor souls living there a chance to say thank you for thinking of them.

My pleasure.