LA Clippers at Risk of Play-In Bracket Amid Slump: Standings, Schedule, Analysis

Ty Lue's Rejuvenation Challenge Amidst Rising Contenders

by Nouman Rasool
LA Clippers at Risk of Play-In Bracket Amid Slump: Standings, Schedule, Analysis
© Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The LA Clippers' downward spiral persisted on Monday night with a resounding 133-116 defeat at the hands of the Indiana Pacers at Arena. Both teams grappled with the challenge of playing back-to-back games, with fatigue inevitably influencing the outcome.

Despite fielding a fully fit roster that once boasted elite status in the NBA, the Clippers failed to muster their former prowess. This defeat saw the Clippers slip to the fifth seed, relinquishing their position to the surging New Orleans Pelicans in the standings.

With nine games left in the regular season, the Clippers face the looming threat of sliding into the play-in bracket should their slump persist.

Rivals Close In

On their heels are several formidable contenders such as the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns.

The Mavericks and Kings trail the Clippers by a mere two games and currently exhibit superior form. Head Coach Ty Lue faces the pressing challenge of rejuvenating his squad before it's too late. In the wake of their loss to the Indiana Pacers, the LA Clippers now hold a 44-17 record.

Having suffered two consecutive defeats and six losses in their last ten games, they find themselves displaced from the top five following the New Orleans Pelicans' recent victory. Although a two-game margin remains substantial with a limited number of fixtures remaining, the Clippers risk losing their assured playoff berth and tumbling into the play-in tournament bracket.

While they maintain tie-breaker advantages over the Mavericks and Kings, a three-way deadlock would still see them relegated. This scenario is far from ideal, especially considering the absence of homecourt advantage in the playoffs for the fifth seed.

Looking ahead, the Clippers face the challenge of navigating the tenth toughest schedule in the NBA, according to Tankathon. Although their remaining fixtures are more arduous than those of the Dallas Mavericks, they fare better than the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns in terms of schedule difficulty.

Among their upcoming opponents are seven teams situated within the top eight of their respective conferences. The Clippers are slated to clash with the Suns twice, as well as the Kings, Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, and Philadelphia 76ers, as they endeavor to reverse their fortunes in the closing stages of the season.