With playoff seeding still up in the air, we tank the LA Clippers potential first round opponents from most to least favorable.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece was drafted prior to the indefinite suspension of the NBA season and is written with the assumption the LA Clippers and the rest of the league does complete the season in some capacity.
The LA Clippers currently sit in 2nd in the Western Conference with a record of 44-20. While we can probably make a very educated guess at who the Clippers will face off against, nothing is set in stone.
Here are the Clippers’ potential first round opponents ranked from most to least favorable.
4) Oklahoma City Thunder
Arguably the most fun matchup possible for the LA Clippers, it could also be the most dangerous. No one expected the Thunder to be sniffing the playoffs, much less in the thick of the playoff race all season but here we are.
The team traded away Paul George and Russell Westbrook, bringing in a trove of picks, Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. That trio of players combined with Steven Adams and Dennis Schroder, the favorite to win Sixth Man of the Year, has made OKC a very tough opponent.
On the season, the Clippers are 2-1 versus the Thunder with the most recent win coming on March 3. That victory was the first time Kawhi Leonard played against OKC this season and they had no answer for him. Kawhi’s 25 points came on just 9-20 from the field but he had several good looks that did not fall.
The Thunder’s biggest weakness is their depth outside of Dennis Shroder, something the LA Clippers can exploit. Although playoffs do typically mean a shorter rotation, the Thunder’s seventh and eighth guys just can’t hold a candle to what the Clippers bring off the bench.
While this series would be one of the most interesting storyline-wise, it probably would also be the easiest of the possible matchups. OKC has an extremely bright future but a sweep in this series seems like the most likely outcome.