The NBA Playoffs continue with games 4 in conference semifinals between the Oklahoma City Thudner and the Los Angeles Clippers out West (Thunder lead 2-1) and between the Indiana Pacers and the Washington Wizards in the East( Pacers lead 2-1).
The easier on the eyes series is obviously taking place in Los Angeles right now. The problem for the Clippers is that it has been too easy for the Thunder over the last couple of games to get points on the board. Not just Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who have been unstoppable in the series and there’s not too much to do about it, but the same goes for Reggie Jackson, Caron Butler and Serge Ibaka, posing a much bigger problem.
Because as long as Westbrook and Durant run wild but don’t made those around them better, the Clippers and those playing OKC can live with it. Once the duo finds it easy to reach the line and find open player due to blown assignments and no discipline on defense; that is when it’s time to start worrying.
The Clippers aren’t doing all that badly on offense, although they need better from J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford, who isn’t going to suddenly change after such a long time in the NBA but that sixth man of the year shouldn’t go to his head in a destructive way. Either way, without conquering that role players issue, this series is going to inch close and closer towards happy ending for the Thunder.
In Washington, the Wizards seemed stunned. The Pacers are no longer that bunch of clueless player almost getting knocked out by sub .500 Atlanta. The defense is once again synced with Roy Hibbert making the right kind of moves near the basket on both ends of the floor, making Bradley Beal, John Wall and Trevor Ariza look helpless at times as they try to find shots that don’t turn into contested jumpers.
The Pacers admit this isn’t exactly “pretty” basketball, but they’re doing what it takes to win. Sure, Paul George can be a lot more efficient, and Lance Stephenson can be a lot more consistent, but it seems that the one difference being Roy Hibbert playing good basketball is enough to cover up any other issue, turning out to be minor, they’re having right now.