Los Angeles Clippers at Atlanta Hawks
The Clippers have been playing solid basketball lately, but they still cannot catch the Los Angeles Lakers in the standings. They will play hard for that No. 3 seed until they are mathematically eliminated. The Clippers do not want to face everyone's favorite upset team, the Memphis Grizzlies, in the first round.
(Side note: The Grizzlies would have a coaching advantage over the Clippers, but could they actually beat them in a seven-game series? The Clippers will have the two best players in the series. Just don't count the Clippers out purely because of Vinny Del Negro.)
Once again, the Hawks will make the NBA playoffs without anyone considering them a threat to the NBA championship.
The Hawks lost a close game to the New York Knicks Sunday night, but they still have a stranglehold on the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks would have to collapse significantly to allow the Dwight Howard-less Orlando Magic pass them with only a couple of games left in the season.
The Hawks and the Clippers met back in mid-March, with the Clippers winning 96-82. Mo Williams finished the game with 25 points. The Clippers' two stars, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, spent most of the fourth quarter on the bench cheering.
When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET (FSN Prime Ticket & SportSouth)
The Pick: Clippers over the Hawks
The Reason: The Clippers are a much better team than the Hawks. Overall team talent will be the reason the Clippers prevail.
Bold Prediction: The Clippers will win by more than 15 points.