Ranking the LA Clippers preferred first round opponents

LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers Paul George
LA Clippers Paul George (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

1) Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets’ recent issues have me rethinking this choice but ultimately, I’ll stand by it.

Houston is the type of team no one wants to see in the first round for multiple reasons. First off, they can get hot on any given night. When they are jacking up a historically high number of three-point attempts, some are bound to go in. That alone is enough to strike fear in opponents. It’s not unheard of for the team to get hot for multiple games straight.

Even if they are only hot for a game or two, playing them in the first round is very likely going to go at least six games. As stated in previous slides, knocking out the first-round opponent as quickly and efficiently as possible is key. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the rest of Houston will not let that happen.

There’s another reason I don’t want to play this Houston team though.


Although in the last game the two faced each other the Clippers went with their normal rotation, I can see Doc Rivers trying to get cute and match Houston’s small-ball unit on occasion with either Marcus Morris or JaMychal Green at center.

More. The Clippers can out-Rocket the Houston Rockets. light

While they are more than capable of winning those minutes, playing small for longer than usual doesn’t allow the team to get consistent with their rotations that will be used against every other playoff team. We all know that playoff rotations mean fewer minutes for certain guys and often the staggering of stars, so getting some run with those lineups in the first round is extremely important.

Next. The Lakers are scared of the Clippers. dark

On paper, the LA Clippers should have no trouble beating any of these teams in the first round. There might be a loss or two but ultimately the Clips should prevail. Still, if given the option, I would much rather have a series against the Thunder.