The NBA Playoff seeding was finalized late Wednesday night and the LA Clipper get the Portland Trailblazers. On the surface I don’t like this matchup for the Clippers. Not that I’m worried they will lose to the Blazers, they won’t, but it won’t be easy.
The Clippers smashed their nemesis Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. That’s the team the Clippers were hoping to play in Round 1. Hoping to play the Grizzlies? Isn’t that the same team that took the Clips to seven games in 2012, and bounced them in 2013 after the Clippers were up 2-0 and dropped four games in a row. Yes, those Grizzlies. This year’s version of the Grizzlies limped into the playoffs without their two franchise players: Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. It would have been a probably a Clippers’ sweep, but instead here come the Blazers.
Portland boasts a lethal guard combo in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. That backcourt duo has averaged over 45 points per game combined. Chris Paul and J.J. Redick will be sweating buckets running around trying to guard these guys. Gone is the inside threat of LaMarcus Aldridge, though the Clippers might have to worry about him later in the playoffs. The current Blazer bigs are young, but they do have some talent. I’m trying to omit the big stiff named Meyers Leonard, who seems as lost and confused on the court as a kid in the women’s section at Macy’s. The likes of Mason Plumlee, Ed Davis, Noah Vonleh, and old caveman Chris Kaman (former Clipper) might cause some problems on the boards.
This has to be the series where Griffin gets back into form and gets rid of all the rust. Jordan and Griffin by will be the two best bigs on the court at any given time. That’s where they need to take advantage of the the young Blazers, beat them up–down low.
The Clippers will be playing a young and energetic team that still has some players (Lillard) who have experienced playoff success. By no means will this be a cake walk, but the Clippers are more talented and experienced to get past the Blazers. No one picked Portland to be here at the start of the season, but here they are. They will fight till the end, but that just won’t be good enough at the end. It have been nice to sweep the Grizzlies, but Portland won’t be going onto the next round, either.