A seed might not necessarily tell the whole story: how well the team plays even in their losses, who they played without, and other extraordinary circumstances distinct to each of the 82 games. One can also say, however, a seed is still the result of months-long of continued work and effort — a general idea of how well a team plays.
The former would encapsulate the tale of the Clippers while the latter has been the case of the Phoenix Suns.
When: Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. PT
Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
How to watch/listen: Bally Sports SoCal, AM 570 ESPN
Opposing perspective: Bright Side of the Sun
Spread: Suns: +6.5, Clippers -6.5
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Marcus Morris Sr., Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac
Suns: Cameron Payne, Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Torrey Craig, JaVale McGee
Clippers: Norman Powell — QUESTIONABLE; Kawhi Leonard, Jason Preston, Jay Scrubb — OUT
Suns: Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Jae Crowder, Deandre Ayton, Frank Kaminsky, Dario Saric — OUT
While a record of 39-40 isn’t all too saddening, it shouldn’t be the representation of the potential of this team: the Clippers lost key players throughout the season to injuries and COVID protocols.
If anything, this record speaks volumes about the depth and persistence of this team and the prudence of its coach, Tyronn Lue. He, in the hardest of times, brings out the best in his pupils. We saw him turn two inexperienced players in Terance Mann and Amir Coffey into solid contributors who, in different spurts of the season, were the main drivers in the team’s success.
And the number of records they break for overcoming big deficits pays attests to this team and how capable Lue is at holding it down, even without his best players.
Not any longer, though — with the recent return of Paul George, the Clippers play with more firepower on their roster. What’s more, Norman Powell was seen competing during practice and is listed as ‘questionable’ for tonight’s game. As for the two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, he, too, has been seen in the background of practices, dressed to play.
With the return of the star players, I’d be wrong to label them as just an eighth-seed team. I see them more like the Trojan Horse: albeit “decorated” as the eighth seed, they might have what it takes to win it all, should all their players return.
This post will serve as the game thread. Enjoy the game, and comment below.
Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.