BREAKING NEWS
L.A. Now

Jamal Crawford: Clippers' home-court advantage doesn't mean much

Clippers have home-court advantage versus San Antonio, but Jamal Crawford notes Spurs can win anywhere

The one consolation to the Clippers' having to play the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs is that the Clippers have home-court advantage.

Or is it?

Said Jamal Crawford: "With them specifically, they can play anywhere. You can take them to Mars and they’ll play."

The Spurs have won five NBA championships, proving that they can win on any court in the toughest of situations.

The Clippers played the Spurs in the second round of the playoffs in 2012, when the Spurs eliminated the Clippers in four games.

Before the Clippers practiced Thursday, DeAndre Jordan recalled that series.

"We got our [butts] kicked," Jordan said. "We got swept. That was my first time in the playoffs. It was fast. There was no experience whatsoever from my end or Blake's."

Since then, the Clippers have made the playoffs every season, getting eliminated by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round in 2013, then by the Oklahoma City  Thunder in the second round in 2014.

The Clippers have never made it past the second round of the playoffs in their 45-year existence.

Entering Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, the Clippers didn't know whether they'd play the Houston Rockets, the Grizzlies, the Dallas Mavericks or the Spurs in the first round. The Clippers had a get-together to watch all of the games to see who their playoff opponent would be.

The Rockets and the Grizzlies won,  the Spurs lost, and the Clippers dropped to the No. 3 seed and the Spurs to the No. 6 seed.

Crawford, however, said the Clippers weren't fazed.

"Guys were excited because we figured whoever wants to get to where they want to go has to go through the Spurs anyway," Crawford said. "There was going to be no way around it, so guys were excited.”

Chris Paul has more postseason experience against the Spurs than do his teammates, after the Spurs handed Paul a Game 7 defeat when he played with the New Orleans Hornets in 2008. Paul said he learned a lot from the way the Spurs composed themselves throughout that series.

"The biggest thing I learned from them back when I was 23 was you never get too high or too low in the playoffs," Paul said. "Every game takes on a game in itself. It’s all about winning each one. If you go up 1-0 winning by 50, you don’t start Game 2 up 50."

The Clippers open their playoff series against the Spurs at Staples Center on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. They enter the postseason having won seven games in a row and 14 of their last 15.

If it were up to Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, the teams' first game would be Friday. He acknowledged being anxious, and said he hates waiting.

"The West is hard," Rivers said. "There's no free passes. You have to fight your way through it and we're starting with the world champs, and we'll find out if that's good or bad."

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
86°