May 3, 2015
By Doug Smith
A look at the fourth of the NBA conference semifinals:
No. 2 Houston vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Clippers
The journey: Rockets beat the Mavericks 4-1, Clippers beat the Spurs 4-3 in the first round.
The story: Maybe they should just make Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan have a free throw competition, first to make 100 wins and we’d be done by June. Maybe. But if the centres on each team can’t fully be trusted shooting foul shots late in a close game, what’s that say? … Could series hinge on Chris Paul’s hamstring that he injured in Game 7 against San Antonio? Clippers cannot survive without him … Blake Griffin has had four straight games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds and it’s hard to see how the Rockets can successfully defend him … Rockets are far deeper, would you trust a Clippers bench of Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford and Big Baby Davis? … The allure, of course, is a Western Conference final between Golden State and the Clippers because those teams truly despise each other … Yes, Josh Smith is going to play an integral role for the Rockets, wonder how that’ll go over in Detroit.
The result: Rockets in 7.