New York Knicks
Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: The 24 points and 15 assists almost understate how important Chris Paul was to tonight’s Clippers win. He had his signature on just about every half court set the Clippers ran, and made sure to stay in front of every player bigger than him on the Knicks — which was just about everyone.
That was … dueling mismatches: The Knicks used size to their advantage, pulling down 14 offensive rebounds — 10 by Robin Lopez alone. The smaller Clippers countered with their shooting, as they would make 13 of their 29 threes to go +27 in that category.
X factor: DeAndre Jordan had 6 blocks on the night, including a crucial block on Carmelo Anthony late in the 4th quarter to keep the Clippers lead at 6. Tonight was the first time he had 6 or more blocks in a game since opening night against the Sacramento Kings. To find a non-DeAndre performance of 6 or more blocks, one would have to go back to April of the 2010-2011 season, where Chris Kaman had six blocks against the Thunder.
— Brandon Tomyoy
Tweet(s) Of The Game
Chuck the Condor's rite of passage from RoLo. pic.twitter.com/YlpNtpwqv5
— Andrew Han (@andrewthehan) March 12, 2016
The @LAClippers have now won 10 consecutive games following a defeat. They have not had a losing streak since December.
— Isaac Lowenkron (@isaaclowenkron) March 12, 2016
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Of Seeds and Draft Picks
With tonight’s Oklahoma City loss, the Clippers find themselves only a game and a half back from the third seed once again. On the other hand, staying in the fourth seed likely nets them Brooklyn’s second round pick, which will be early in the second round.
Moving up to the third seed does mean a more favorable second round against a San Antonio Spurs team that the Clippers match up well with. But the Clippers match up fairly well with the Warriors, too, and the likeliest road to the finals will include playing both the Spurs and Warriors anyways.
So is playing a Spurs team that the Clips have better odds against in the second round worth it to have the best chance to make the Conference Finals once and for all? Or if the road to the finals is daunting regardless of chosen path, would it be better to find a way to load up on additional young assets when the team has traded away so much of their future as it stands?