The playoff race in the western conference is extremely tight right now, and this is going to go down to the wire. There is little confirmed yet, and still a number of clubs involved who are all trying to book a place at the postseason party. From Oklahoma in 4th position to Denver in 10th, just four wins separate the teams.
That covers seven teams and of those seven, two are not going to make it and be left very disappointed. The LA Clippers are on the cusp of a playoff spot, but importantly they are outside and have to force a way in if they want to make it. They travel to Portland to face the Trail Blazer who are currently third in the standings, and this could be an opportunity for the Clippers to take a valuable victory.
The Trail Blazers cannot better themselves and finish any higher than third, and they don’t look to be in danger of missing out on the playoffs either. That puts them in a tough position, where they can afford to take a few minutes off their stars, and use the bench a little more in preparation for the postseason.
There is no danger of the Clippers doing that, they need every single one of their players out there and battling for the cause. However, it does give them a situation they can take advantage of, and this could be important in the playoff race. The Clippers look to have a great chance of winning this game, even though they are on the road. The Trail Blazers are vulnerable at home and have a home record that can only be described as average, only one playoff team is worse than them in the west.
On top of this, we have seen the Clippers impress on the road on many different occasions. They have a better road record than four teams that are currently in the players, and after a good recent winning streak, I think they can go to Portland and win this game on Sunday.
The Clippers are fighting for their lives right now, and we have seen real fire inside them recently. That can be enough for them to bring home what will be a hugely important win, and I have them winning this contest by four to eight points against the Trail Blazers.