Why beating OKC would be huge statement from Clippers

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Clippers
Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Clippers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

Vacations and breaks in life often seem to go by fast. You have so much fun at that resort you're staying at, hiking with friends and family, or even enjoying the beach until you realize it is now time to head back home to reality. That is the case for the LA Clippers.

They had two players named to the NBA All-Star team to represent the Western Conference. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard appreciated the time off despite having to lace up their sneakers still for the fans. However, it is back to business tonight in Oklahoma City to play the Thunder.

This is a place that is far too familiar for Russell Westbrook and James Harden. They were the key to success there as they began their NBA careers together. They are still trying to accomplish the ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship. Still playing side by side, they are still vital to winning even for the LA Clippers this late into their careers. Tonight, they will yet again be a key reason for the outcome of this game.

Offensively has always been where they excelled at. Tonight, the gameplan may be defensively for Russ and Harden as they look to slow down the backcourt of Josh Giddey and a player who may be the league's MVP this season, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Tonight is a bit of a reunion game for both Russell Westbrook and James Harden. However, this game carries much more weight about the past. This game is about the future of the entire Clippers team.

Why the Clippers must take care of business tonight

As it stands today, the LA Clippers are steadily climbing up the NBA Standings. They currently rank third in the Western Conference. The goal is to win the conference. There are only two opponents in the West that stand ahead of them - the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

One of the most satisfying feelings in life is to see your hard work paying off. Another bit to feel good about is to see progress. The LA Clippers have made substantial progress and are on the verge of accomplishing their goal as they are two games from first place and just a half of a game out of second place.

That is why tonight's game should be looked at as a must-win for the LA Clippers. Well, why is this so important? Why should the LA Clippers even care about the NBA standings?

The NBA standings aren't necessarily important when it comes to the entire league. It may make a difference in the end when it comes to the NBA Finals. However, the short-term goal is to make it to the NBA Finals. Once you get there, the final and ultimate goal is to win the NBA Finals.

Having home court on their path to the NBA Finals is a luxury that every team in the NBA can only dream about. This is something that will help them tremendously, especially if they should experience any type of injury to Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden, or even Russell Westbrook.