- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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Now comes the tricky part. What seed will they get and who do they play in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs? Ah, let us count the scenarios.
The Clippers likely will be the No. 3 seed, but they can still be the 2-seed if the San Antonio Spurs lose at the New Orleans Pelicans AND the Utah Jazz beat the Houston Rockets in Houston on Wednesday.
The Clippers likely will play the Memphis Grizzlies as the 3-seed but could play the Dallas Mavericks if L.A. moves up to the 2-seed. Or the Clippers could play the Spurs or Rockets in a 3-6 matchup if one of those teams lose while the Grizzlies beat the Indiana Pacers in Memphis on Wednesday.
Got all that?
Doc Rivers doesn't seem to care who the Clippers play, if they are the favorites or even liked by anyone outside of the locker room.
"It doesn't matter," Rivers said. "Honestly, it's nice to I guess be loved or maybe not loved. Who cares? I just keep going back, all that is chatter. It's chatter that stays outside. I don't think a player is walking into a playoff game thinking, 'You know, they're not picking us.' It doesn't matter, or they're picking us. It just comes down to performance. That's the best part of the game. Once the game starts, all the chatter stops."
All the chatter about who the Clippers will play will stop Wednesday night when they figure out their opponent. The only thing the Clippers know is they will have home-court advantage as either the 2- or 3-seed.
As of Tuesday night, the Clippers have the second-best record in the Western Conference (56-26) and third-best in the league. While they have one less win than they did last season, they have never finished a season better in the standings in franchise history. They also finished the season with a franchise-record 26 road wins and eight straight when away from home. After an up-and-down start to the season, the Clippers were able to finish the season by winning 14 of 15 games.
This is the moment the Clippers have been working toward since the playoffs ended for them last season. They seemingly sleepwalked through training camp and the preseason, going 2-6 and starting the season 7-5. They looked lost losing four straight and five of six away from home during the annual Grammy Awards trip. Through it all, they kept waiting for the season to be over and for the playoffs to start.
"We all realized that we were going to be judged on our playoff success," Jamal Crawford said. "So no matter if we won 60 games or 50 games in the regular season, everybody was going to be like, 'Yeah, let's see what they do in the playoffs,' so we kind of have graduated to that stage and it's here."