The LA Clippers clinched a top two seed in the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history, with their 124-111 win over the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets who trailed the Clippers by 1.5 games going into the matchup, clinched the three seed with the loss.
The Clippers were without Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet, and Montrezl Harrell. The Nuggets were without Gary Harris and Will Barton. It was a tightly contested game all the way up to the fourth quarter. Denver would then rest starters Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, ensuring a Clipper victory.
Leonard and George looked as sharp as ever, with the former playing with an intensity similar to what we saw in last years playoff run with Toronto. Going into the playoffs, I truly believe Kawhi Leonard is the best player in basketball. He finished the game with 26 points and George led all scorers with 27.
The most recent Finals MVP is starting to turn on the gas as the playoffs approach, which is scary for the rest of the league. With the victory, the Clippers finish with their highest ever seed and will face the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
2) Clippers vs
The Clippers were 3-0 against the Mavericks this season. They won two games in Dallas and defeated them last week as well. My prediction is that the Clippers will win this series 4-1. Kawhi and Paul George will be too much for the Mavs to handle, and the Clipper role players are starting to hit stride at the right time. Lou Williams had yet another strong performance Wednesday, finishing with 23 points and seven assists on 8/13 shooting in 25 minutes. Ivica Zubac also kept up the consistency with 15 points and 12 board on 7/9 shooting. His finishing around the rim in the pick and roll was phenomenal yet again.
Clipper fans, I’m feeling good. It seems like it could be the year (knock on wood). The first step was the top two seed. The team accomplished that and did their deed. Now it’s to get past the first round for the first time since 2015. An ending so poor and a memory I wish was wiped clean. They have one final game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. It’s almost 100 percent certain that both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will be rested for that one. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see Marcus Morris and Ivica Zubac rested, after starting all seven games so far in the bubble. However, it could be the return of possible Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell.