The LA Clippers finished this regular season as the fourth seed in the Western Conference. At 47-25, they would have been the third seed in the Eastern Conference if they played in the East. Of course, their record most likely would have been better if they played in the East, as the Western Conference is a much better conference than the East.
The West isn’t sending any below .500 teams to the playoffs, and has an above .500 team that’s won three of the last six Championships missing out on the postseason. They also don’t have any teams who won over 70% of their games, where as the West has two.
Record-wise, however, the Clippers theoretically would have finished with the third seed.
If the LA Clippers were in the East, they would be set up for maybe the most interesting playoff series of the year in the second round.
If the Clippers were the third seed in the East, they’d theoretically be playing the Miami Heat in the first round, as they were the sixth seed. There’s no way the Clippers would lose that series, so there’s no point in even entertaining that.
So in the second round, they’d be set up to play the Brooklyn Nets, who demolished the Boston Celtics in five games during their first round series.
The most intriguing part about what this hypothetical matchup would be is that it would be the two best shooting teams in the NBA facing off against each other.
We all know why the Clippers are the best shooting team in the NBA. They led the league in three-point percentage this year at 41.1%. They also led the league in free throw percentage at 83.9%. In addition, they were second in the NBA with a true shooting percentage of 59.9% and were top five in the NBA with a 48.2% field goal percentage.
The Clippers were the only team in the history of the NBA to shoot at least 50% from 2PT range (52.9%), 40% or more from 3PT range (41.1%), and 80% or greater from the free throw line (83.9%) simultaneously.
The Nets can shoot the rock too, though. They were tied for second in three-point shooting behind the Clippers with a 39.2% three-point percentage. They were number one in the NBA with a 49.4% field goal percentage, and they shot over 80% from the free throw line.
The Clippers have Marcus Morris representing the team with the fourth-highest three-point percentage in basketball (46.2%), and the Nets have Joe Harris in second place (47.9%) and Kevin Durant in fifth place (45.2%).
The Clippers have a couple more guys in the top 20 in Luke Kennard (11th) and Reggie Jackson (16th).
This series would have been a dogfight. The Clippers-Jazz series will be incredibly entertaining as well, and fans who love to watch great shooting teams play against each other will have to root for the Clippers to win this series.
That keeps the dream of a Clippers-Nets Finals matchup alive, and that would be unforgettable basketball for us to watch.