Monday night’s heavyweight Western Conference bout ending in a surprising manner, as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 92-77. The game locked up Lob City’s postseason bid, marking the first time the Clippers have made the playoffs since 2006.
More than anything else, the game proved that the Thunder are far from invincible. For as deep and talented as Oklahoma are, they put up a laugher against a team that they could end up seeing in a seven-game series. More than anything else, the fourth quarter killed Durant’s squad, when they got outscored 26-11. Losing on the road to a team like the Clippers isn’t a severe offense, but getting outscored like that – when it matters most, when elite teams have to at least put up a fight – casts doubt.
The Clippers could very well enjoy success against OKC down the road. The Thunder are extremely top-heavy, featuring but three players who average over 10 points per game. As good as Durant, Russel Westbrook and James Harden are, they lack legitimate offensive weapons after that. Between Chris Paul, lengthy wings like Caron Butler and highlight-reel defender DeAndre Jordan, LA has every piece needed to diffuse a team like Oklahoma City. The way it currently stands, a playoff series between the two wouldn’t happen until the Western Conference Finals. With all due respect to San Antonio or Memphis, I couldn’t envision a more entertaining scenario.