Clippers clinch No. 4 playoff seed with 115-95 rout of Kings
Clippers clinch No. 4 playoff seed with 115-95 rout of Kings
16 Abril, 2017, 15:45
Game one is in Los Angeles on Saturday. However, the Clippers' recent hot streak suggests that are peaking at the ideal time. He's expanded his game to be viable behind the 3-point line: he shoots almost two a game from out there, and hits it at a 33 percent rate.
Perhaps the biggest question for the Clippers is whether or not they can stay healthy. In his 13-year playing career, Rivers said, he does "not remember going into a playoff series thinking about what happened last year".
The Bucks play the Raptors in the first round.
Rivers was sat behind the Clippers bench during Game 1 against the Utah Jazz in a navy suit. Griffin missed 21 games due to injury this season but when paired with center DeAndre Jordan, he gives the team a 1-2 inside punch few can match. Gobert had to be helped off the court and carried into the locker room.
NBA Playoffs 2017: 5 keys to Celtics vs. Bulls matchup
How Thomas, the NBA's second-leading scorer this season, fares against Butler and the Bulls will impact the course of the series. Regardless of how this shakes out, Butler will still get his points especially when Crowder is not in the game.
"Both teams want to win", Gobert told the Tribune.
Key Reserves: Jamal Crawford, Raymond Felton. The Clippers are still REALLY good with Chris Paul. He's one of the tallest point guards the team has had, which added a good source of offensive and defensive elements. The Jazz have been battling injuries late in the season but seem to be ready to go for the playoffs.
"That's the type of game he has, the stuff he can do on the court, he's very consistent, and very efficient".
"It's been so long and I was in a completely different role, so it's nearly like it's new to me, too", Hayward said. Gordon Hayward was out with his broken hand. Sure, not one player on their current roster was with Utah during the 2010 postseason. So the motivational edge should be enough to get by the Jazz in this series.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (51-31): Los Angeles scored at least 112 points six times during its seven-game winning streak and had 124 or better on three occasions as an oft-injured bunch finds its rhythm behind floor general Paul. Also, the Jazz have struggled with injuries all year and that issue is ongoing. And that's without even considering possible new contracts for Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood, whose contracts are both up in 2018.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers surged towards the playoffs with 11 wins in the last 13 games of the regular season to finish with a record of 51-31.
Another major dynamic to keep an eye on is the play of Hayward. For the Jazz, if they're are going to win this series, they're going to need some big-time production from their franchise star. Gobert was setting a screen during Utah's first possession and collided with Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute. While he's definitely lost a step, and is a complete liability on defense, he still has the ability to put together little runs by himself to prop up the bench unit's offense, should it bog down.
The 2016-17 campaign ended with a 115-95 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night at Staples Center.
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Although this is Utah's first playoff appearance since the names Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer rang through the Vivint Smart Home Arena, they are reaching sort of a crossroads with their core as well.
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