It's the time of the year when
This season, that might require the scouts splitting into six parts, so varied are the
"The problem is, we may not have enough guys because there's so many teams you could play," said Rivers, the Clippers' coach, who added he would probably hire out-of-work former
If the playoffs started Sunday, the Clippers would receive the No. 3 seeding in the Western Conference and play the sixth-seeded
Other potential matchups for the Clippers include the
Rivers said he didn't have a preference.
Fortunately, we are here to help. Here's a primer on the matchups that would most benefit the Clippers and those best to avoid:
Portland would be suddenly known as R.I.P. City: The Trail Blazers are backsliding faster than the Greek economy, having played sub-.500 basketball since late January.
Some of that has been attributable to a back injury to All-Star forward
The Trail Blazers also haven't been to the playoffs since 2011, meaning they will need an adjustment period. By the time they got comfortable, the Clippers would have moved on to the next round.
Houston, you have a problem, and thy name is Clippers: Admittedly, this is the least likely scenario. It would entail the Clippers falling into the No. 4 seeding and the Rockets dipping to No. 5.
The Clippers certainly wouldn't mind. They hold a 3-0 lead in the season series and have easily looked like the superior team. They have an answer for
Plus, the uncertainty over point guard Patrick Beverley's knee injury means the Rockets might have to turn to
Dallas would live up to its nickname as the Big D — as in Defeat: You have to give the Mavericks credit. Newcomer
Golden State would have more than a prayer: The Clippers and Warriors hate each other so much that they refused to attend chapel together earlier this season before games.
In some ways, though, they're a lot alike. They're both young and athletic with dynamic big men. This matchup would probably create the best theater of any first-round matchup between Paul and Golden State's
There's a reason these teams have split their four games this season. One potential downer for the Warriors:
It's never fun to wrestle with a Grizzly: There would be flagrant fouls, technical fouls and ejections. Then the second quarter of Game 1 would start.
Though the Clippers could beat Memphis — they've certainly been the better team this season — the rivals' hatred for each other could prompt the Clippers to do dumb things. Like throwing an elbow to the head of nemesis Zach Randolph.
Rivers surely would prefer his team properly execute inbounds plays instead of uppercuts. Avoiding a playoff series against the Grizzlies for a third consecutive season ensures that happens.
Eric Bledsoe can get as hot as a Sun spot: Phoenix is 24-10 this season when its new point guard has played, his return from a knee injury this month triggering a playoff push for a team that was expected to be among the worst in the NBA.
Instead, the tandem of Bledsoe and
There's also that thing known as the revenge factor for someone traded by the Clippers. Of course, they may have been doing Bledsoe a favor.