Clippers beat Memphis in wild, wild Western Conference playoff race
Doc Rivers says he doesn’t look at the Western Conference standings. DeAndre Jordan said he’s not paying too much attention to it. And Blake Griffin said he was just trying to figure out the standings and playoff scenarios with someone recently and figured this out:
"We just came up with the conclusion that we have no idea," Griffin said with a laugh.
Welcome to the wild, wild Western Conference standings.
What is clear is that the Clippers are in a three-way tie for second with Memphis and San Antonio after a gritty, hard-nosed 94-86 win over Memphis Saturday at Staples Center. The Clippers (54-26) have won 12 of 13 games and moved into that tie for the second-best record in the West.
The seedings and playoff matchups will change often over the next few days.
"I know it’s confusing, but when you do figure it out, let us know," Rivers joked. "It’s not just for us. There are several teams who don’t know who they will be playing in the first round. Every team has scouts all over the place covering different teams at the same time.
— NBA (@NBA) April 12, 2015
"Every team’s staff is going to be exhausted. In the end, it makes us all even."
The Clippers won’t know who they’ll play in the first round of the playoffs until the NBA’s last day of the regular season on Wednesday.
"I’ve been in the playoffs, this being my ninth year, and I’ve been in the playoffs every year I’ve been in the NBA," J.J. Redick said. "I think this might be the latest I’ve ever not known what seed I’m going to have. It’s interesting. We had kind of locked up 3 last year. We had the luxury of keeping everyone home when we went to Portland last year for the last game of the season. Doesn’t look like we’ll have that luxury this year in Phoenix. It’s interesting and we’re all paying attention to it for sure."
The Clippers play Denver at Staples Center on Monday, then finish the season in Phoenix on Tuesday. They’ll wait until Wednesday to figure out who they’re playing. It’s not a bad wait when you have games against two non-playoff teams to try to lock up homecourt advantage.
The Clippers have lost just twice since March 15. There was much concern when Griffin went down with a staph infection but the Clippers played well in his five-week absence. The same happened when Jamal Crawford missed five weeks with a deep calf contusion, but he’s been back for two games now.
"To be in this spot is kind of surprising if you just listen to the talk," Griffin said. "It should surprise people if that’s all you listen to. The way we’ve played has been great. You kind of look back and see games we felt we gave away. It always bothers you. At the same time, you can probably go down the list of every single team, with the exception of Golden State and Atlanta, since they have those spots locked up. Games where you think, ‘if we just won that.’ We’re happy to be in the position we’re in."
And where exactly that is by Wednesday should be an interesting journey.