Tonight at 8:00 Central Time, the Western Conference may have their representative in this year’s NBA Finals. The Phoenix Suns currently hold a 3-1 series lead over the Los Angeles Clippers with the game happening on Phoenix’s home court. Following an injury to superstar Kawhi Leonard, many predicted the Suns being able to pull out a sweep in the Western Conference Finals. However, the Clippers were able to steal Game 3 at home on the backs of Paul George and Ivica Zubac.
Leonard is not expected to play in Game 5, so what do the Clippers need to do in order to force a Game 6?
Terance Mann Time
In Game 6 of their last series against the Utah Jazz, Terance Mann lit up the scoreboard with 39 points in 36 minutes. Since that game, Mann has had less of an impact, but if the Clippers want to win tonight he may be the key. With inconsistent performances from Paul George as of late, the Clippers desperately need someone to be a reliable scoring threat. Enter Terance Mann. The young guard has shown promise and the ability to make explosive, game-changing plays. With their backs against the wall, LA needs another outstanding performance from the young guy.
Coach Ty Lue has garnered the respect of the locker room and solidified himself as a bonafide NBA coach. In multiple post-game interviews, Lue has been credited with drawing up fantastic plays and keeping the team feeling like they are never out of a game despite what the score may be. Similar to what Nate McMillan is doing in Atlanta, Coach Lue is leading the charge on a team that is seemingly beating all odds. Coach Lue will need to step up big time to lead his team to a victory in Game 5.
This year’s NBA Playoffs have been nothing short of spectacular, and fans from all over are preparing for a wild finish. As the Western Conference hangs in the balance, one question remains: Can a Clippers team without Kawhi Leonard prove that they are in it to win it, or will Chris Paul and the Suns do it for small markets everywhere? At 8:00 PM Central tonight, we will have our answer, and I for one cannot wait to tune in and find out.