The Los Angeles Clippers did something they had never done before on Wednesday night when they beat the Denver Nuggets to clinch the second seed in the Western Conference. This is the first time in franchise history they reach this spot but it happened under extraordinary circumstances that won’t give them the advantage they would have had if there wasn’t a bubble.
Even though some teams will play more games with home-court advantage, it’s not like their rivals will feel that pressure of visiting hostile territory to win one game. That’s exactly what Kawhi Leonard thinks about the bubble playoffs and the seeds. Talking with reporters, Kawhi stated that the competition was going to be harder than ever since every team is going through the same circumstances.
“Right now, it doesn’t seem like seeds matter,” he told reporters, via ESPN. “I mean, just like tonight, we played Denver. We’re not traveling there or pushing through that altitude that they’re used to playing to at home. Also fans. But the little things like that, you know, just traveling to that different city and trying to establish yourself and see what routine you can make out there, those are pretty much the difficulties of ballgames in the playoffs [that aren’t in the bubble].”
Paul George also explained how this situation helps the teams with worse records, which wouldn’t have to go to a different city with difficult conditions to play.
“It’s a lot of unknowns here,” he said. “But I’m confident. I think our group is confident. There’s nothing to be unconfident about. It’s an even playing field.”
The Clippers were the fourth-best home record in the NBA this season at 26-9, so you know this situation hits them. Still, they’re confident they can get the job done but the journey won’t be any easy. They will face the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs in one of the hardest postseasons in recent times.