Three of the teams they'll play on the five-game trip — Dallas, Houston and Phoenix — are possible first-round playoff opponents, though a matchup against the
Before Tuesday's games, the Clippers (50-21) were in third place in the Western Conference, but only 2 1/2 games behind second-place Oklahoma City and 1 1/2 games ahead of fourth-place Houston.
Things are equally jumbled lower in the standings, where only two games separated the four teams —
In other words, make sure any travel plans for the playoffs are fully refundable.
The Clippers will start the trip in New Orleans on Wednesday against the
"Maybe I'll ask Austin to take the whole team out [Tuesday] and have some bad food," Clippers Coach
The Clippers then head to Dallas for the second night of a back-to-back Thursday to play the
Then it's on to Houston (48-22) on Saturday, followed by games against Minnesota (34-35) on Monday and Phoenix on Wednesday. There doesn't appear to be a gimme on the trip, which could compromise the Clippers' intentions.
"We always like to go over .500," Clippers guard
The Clippers are only three games above .500 on the road this season but have won five of their last seven there. Success on this trip would serve a dual purpose.
"I think it's important, obviously, for the standings, but it's also important for our own mental state," Clippers forward
After this trip, the Clippers will have only one road game left, at Portland on April 16 in their regular-season finale.
The Clippers' bench couldn't sustain the momentum the starters built in taking a 15-point lead against Milwaukee on Monday, its struggles contributing to the
Rivers chalked it up largely to Crawford rejoining the reserves and playing alongside newcomers
"To me, it's almost like they're trying to find themselves again as a group, and they will, they're working on it, they want to," Rivers said. "It's not like they don't want to do this, so they will."