The Clippers defeated the Lakers in a game that was claimed as a Russell Westbrook vengeance matchup but turned out to be something much more impressive: a resounding victory that moved the Clippers up to the fifth slot in the standings. (tied with the Golden State Warriors). In order to avoid competing in the play-in tournament, the next step is to keep hold of it.
The injury to Paul George was the latest misfortune that struck an already unlucky Clippers team, which has been struggling to put their pieces together on the court ever since they built the combo of George and Kawhi Leonard. The injury to Paul George was the latest misfortune that hit an already unlucky Clippers squad. While PG and Kawhi took turns focusing on load management and improving their game, the other players who were not named PG and Kawhi improved their play in their respective games. This is the positive aspect of the situation. Be wary of the veteran player Norman Powell, who scored 27 points in his most recent game, a victory over the Lakers, in just his fourth contest since returning from injury.
Speaking of blunders, the Trail Blazers are still having trouble finding a solution to their own problems. The following is a list of names that have been absent from Portland: Nassir Little, Justise Winslow, Anfernee Simons, Damian Lillard, and Jusuf Nurkic are the members of this team’s starting five. The five men who will start for them and the sixth man.
The consequence of that cannot be avoided. They have dropped two straight games and currently sit in 13th place in the Western Conference standings, making their chances of making the playoffs extremely unlikely. This is a bitter pill to chew for what could have been a promising season for Portland, which witnessed the ascension of Simons and the arrival of seventh choice rookie Shaedon Sharpe. This is a hard pill to swallow for what could have been a great season for Portland. But as the rules of basketball would have it, the Trail Blazers had no choice but to chalk up another season of disappointment.
It all depends on how the Warriors and the Lakers conclude their separate seasons, but the Clippers have a shot at finishing as high as fifth in the Western Conference. This is not the time for them to be losing, as they are ready to finish their season with back-to-back games against the Blazers and then against the Suns.
Both matches are extremely important for a variety of reasons. The hold on fifth place is strengthened by a victory over Portland, and if they are successful, it would result in a first-round matchup against the Suns, who are the fourth seed. The Clippers have their work cut out for them, and finishing the regular season on a high note will depend on Kawhi Leonard and the rest of the team making one last push.
In spite of the enormous stakes involved, it seems likely that the Clippers will have little trouble overcoming the weakened Blazers. The faster they are able to win convincingly, the sooner their stars will be able to get some rest before facing a tougher opponent in the Suns the next night.