FanPost

Looking Ahead Towards the Playoff…..


Although it’s too early to talk about playoff pairings, it is good to note that if the season ended today, it would be Houston we will play in the playoffs.

Looking at the trend after almost 25% of the games are played, most likely we will end up being paired against Houston in the first round of the playoffs. Both teams could be on their way to winning between 50 to 55 games. They would be flip flopping between the 4rth and 5th positions and could end up playing each other no matter what. Or we might be able to win some more games but I don’t think the added wins could overtake SA, OKC or Portland. Besides, gaining the 3rd place position in the standing might fit us against Golden State or Memphis, teams which historically we do not play well. So far we have beaten Houston convincingly and it stands well for the Clippers to play them in the first round of the playoff.

In their last games, Houston has played well even without Asik and Lin. And it looks like they have found the right combination as Dwight is adjusting and still not complaining of having not enough touches allowing the game to be more centered on Harden. They also found a better PF in Terrence Jones and all the pieces seem to be falling in place.

(Of course, if they start losing, I will not be surprise to hear rumblings from Dwight). They also have the ability to trade Asik and Lin for more players to make deeper their benches (which I think is crazy deep already) that could help them down the stretch to contend and be more competitive.

On the other hand, the Clippers are still adjusting and they are finding themselves wanting of stability and consistency specially in playing the first halves of their games. So far they have not played a complete game of consistent offense and defense. Also their bench is still putting together a reliable offense and struggling in defense. Added to this is their need for another big (Odom or Wilcox?) and perhaps an efficient defender on the wings. They have Barnes who is currently injured and still trying to find his game and they are also hoping that rookie Bullock will be an added answer to this lack. Another option is a trade but will they be trading Crawford for a big, meaning less offense and more defense for the second unit? Which weighs more and important in the playoffs, less offense or lack of defense? But even with all these deficiencies, the Clippers are playing good basketball and winning games.

Based on current games played, here is how the stats of these two teams compare per NBA.com:

LAC

Houston

FGM

39.0

37.6

FGA

82.1

78.5

FG%

47.40%

47.90%

3FGM

8.1

10.0

3FGA

23.3

27.4

3FG%

34.50%

36.50%

FTM

19.8

22.7

FTA

27.8

32.1

FT%

71.00%

70.50%

OREB

10.7

11.2

DREB

32.2

35.5

TREB

42.9

46.7

AST

24.4

20.8

TOV

14.8

18.2

These stats make these two teams almost evenly matched. Field goals, 3 field goals and foul throws attempted, made and percent made are almost identical! Houston has an edge in rebounding by 4 but LAC has it washed in assist by 4. The added edge for LAC is the number of turnovers made per game by Houston, also by 4.

If the playoffs start today, the Clippers will have the home court advantage and based on their previous two wins over Houston, will have a good chance of disposing Houston in the first round.

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