Los Angeles Clippers: Western Conference playoffs

Clippers hone in as playoffs, Warriors loom

April, 12, 2014
Apr 12
4:38
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Doc Rivers will tell you he doesn’t look at the standings posted in the Los Angeles Clippers locker room. He’ll joke that they are updated daily by the equipment manager and that his players never talk about it.

But with two games left in the regular season after Saturday’s 117-101 win over the Sacramento Kings, those standings and the start of the playoffs next week are clearly the only things the Clippers are focused on. Their third-place finish in the Western Conference standings is cemented, and their opponent in the first round -- the Golden State Warriors -- is essentially locked in as well.

"We’ve already started," Rivers said when asked when the Clippers will start planning for the Warriors. "We pretty much, in our opinion, felt like that's who we were going to play for the last week or two. But I don't know how much more attention you can pay to a team than you already do anyway. It is nice. You're preparing and I'm sure they're preparing for us. It's not anything with the players. It's more the looks and the film stuff that you can start cutting and getting ready."

A first-round matchup between the Clippers and Warriors would certainly not be void of history and storylines. While both teams are young and trying to change the culture of two historically downtrodden franchises, over the past two seasons, both teams have grown a disdain for each other that is sure to boil over during the course of a seven-game series.

[+] EnlargeGlen Davis
AP Photo/Danny MoloshokDavis' addition has provided needed depth to the Clippers' bench and another physical player to defend the West's elite.
"I don’t know if you guys know this, but Chris [Paul] has a unique ability of getting under people’s skin. I don’t know if you guys know that about him," deadpanned Kings coach Mike Malone, who was an assistant with the Warriors the previous two seasons and coached Paul with the New Orleans Hornets for a season before that. “It’s just a competitive series. My first two years there we were 5-3 against the Clippers, and this year it’s 2-2. Every game is hotly contested.

"You have two power forwards in David [Lee] and Blake [Griffin], and David is trying prove he’s an All-Star, which he is. You have Steph[en] Curry, who is emerging and no longer wants to be under Chris Paul’s shadow. He wants to show people what he can do. The playoffs is where rivalries are made. If they play each other in the first round, it will be a great series, and I’m sure a lot of emotions will be involved."

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