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NBA Playoffs 2017: Clippers host the Jazz as Warriors await the winner

As the Warriors sit and wait, fans turn their eyes to other matchups.

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

In a typically selfish move, the Golden State Warriors swept the Portland Trailblazers to advance past the first round, leaving Dubs fans bereft of our favorite brand of basketball for some indeterminate amount of time. So while we wait for them to return to action, let’s turn our collective eyes towards the other playoff games, shall we?

Tonight we get to peek into all three Western Conference playoff series (note that all times are in Pacific):

First up:

#3 Houston Rockets vs. #6 Oklahoma City Thunder; 5pm on TNT

Game 1: Rockets 118, Thunder 87

Game 2: Rockets 115, Thunder 111

Game 3: Thunder 115, Rockets 113

Game 4: Rockets 113, Thunder 109

Rockets lead series 3-1

The Thunder are on the brink of elimination so this is a win or go home game for them. The odds makers have the Rockets by 7.5 points.

Fun note: In order to encourage fans to arrive early and be rowdy, the Rockets are offering dollar beers in the hour prior to tipoff. On a related note Patrick Beverley uses Miller Light as an example of fancy expensive beer.

Second game

No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz; 7:30 on TNT

Game 1: Jazz 97, Clippers 95

Game 2: Clippers 99, Jazz 91

Game 3: Clippers 111, Jazz 106

Game 4: Jazz 105, Clippers 98

Series tied 2-2

This is the one I’ll be watching! Tied 2-2 and featuring our next round opponent, this series has tons of drama. First of all, both teams have now lost a key player to injury, Blake Griffin is done for the playoffs (again), and Rudy Gobert is just now returning to action after suffering a knee injury in game 1.

Chris Paul has been balling out of his mind and is posting averages of 27 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. Will it be enough to get them to the next round? Or can the weirdest duo of Joe Johnson and Gordon Hayward continue to expose the Clippers dearth of effective wing players?

As a Warriors fan, all I care about is that this series go to seven games.

and Finally

No. 2 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 7 Memphis Grizzlies; 6pm on NBA TV

Game 1: Spurs 111, Grizzlies 82 | Stats | Spurs lead series 1-0

Game 2: Spurs 96, Grizzlies 82 | Stats | Spurs lead series 2-0

Game 3: Grizzlies 105, Spurs 94 | Stats | Spurs lead series 2-1

Game 4: Grizzlies 110, Spurs 108 (OT) | Stats |

Series tied 2-2

You’ve got to tip your cap to the Memphis Grizzlies. After looking like they were en route to a quick first round exit, they’ve turned the table on the aging Spurs and evened the series with some inspiring late game heroics.

Mike Conley is looking like he deserves that huge contract he signed in the last offseason, and Marc Gasol continues to impress me as the most under-rated dominant player.

The Spurs dropped a couple of tough games, but are far from done. Kawhi Leonard has been absurd, and is having arguably the best playoff performance so far. That said, he’ll need more help than old and busted Tony Parker. Ex-Warriors David Lee has been playing well for the Spurs, but isn’t the answer when it comes time to keep the Griz away from the basket.

Although we wouldn’t face either team for a while, this is another matchup that all Warriors fans should want to go all the way to seven game.

Ok friends, that’s it for now - let’s go enjoy some low-stakes basketball and some cold beverages! See you later tonight!

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