LA Clippers: Huge playoff implications for Monday’s game

LA Clippers Paul George Serge Ibaka (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Paul George Serge Ibaka (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The LA Clippers still have 10 games left on their schedule before the season ends, so every single one is important. Some nights, like tonight, have big meaning and can do a lot for teams. Teams in the tightly contested Western Conference are still jockeying for position in hopes of securing a homecourt advantage for the postseason. Others are still just trying to secure a playoff spot.

Monday night’s game versus the New Orleans Pelicans has huge implications for the LA Clippers.

What otherwise might seem to be just a regular Monday night game actually has a lot of meaning for this LA Clippers’ team. As is often the case, a win is necessary for this game to have true meaning.

Given that the Grizzlies beat Portland on Sunday, if the Clippers win tonight, not only do they secure a spot in the playoffs but also avoid the play-in tournament. Somewhat more importantly, however, the Clippers would be set up to take the number two seed. Here’s how the standings currently sit:

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  1. Utah Jazz: 44-16
  2. Phoenix Suns: 42-18
  3. LA Clippers: 43-19
  4. Denver Nuggets: 39-21
  5. Los Angeles Lakers: 35-25
  6. Dallas Mavericks: 33-26
  7. Portland Trail Blazers: 32-28
  8. Memphis Grizzlies: 31-28
  9. San Antonio Spurs: 30-29
  10. Golden State Warriors: 31-30

A win against New Orleans would put the Clippers at 44-19, a 0.698 win percentage. That’s just a hair behind Phoenix’s current 0.700 win percentage. Phoenix does have a game tonight, the second of a back-to-back against the New York Knicks.

Assuming they win, Wednesday night’s matchup between them and the Clippers would take on a lot of meaning. If Phoenix loses to the Knicks, however, the Clippers would leapfrog them and take second regardless of their outcome versus New Orleans.

Looking towards tonight, the Clippers have split the season series with New Orleans and while they sit on the outside looking in, their talented young core still can win on any given night. LA will be without Patrick Beverley, Serge Ibaka, Kawhi Leonard, Luke Kennard, and possibly Rajon Rondo, so the team will have to be carried by Paul George.

George scored only 15 in the team’s loss to New Orleans in March but had 27 points on 50 percent shooting versus them in the Clippers’ win back in January. Obviously, the latter will be needed, especially with so many players missing.

Next. Serge Ibaka seems close to returning. dark

A Clippers’ loss does not preclude them from getting the second seed but makes things a lot easier. With so much jostling, putting themselves into a position to have home court in the first two rounds is a necessity and will also likely help them in avoiding the Los Angeles Lakers in round one. they just need to take care of their own business.