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This is now Portland’s series to lose. After game four it was announced Chris Paul would be out indefinitely due to a broken hand, and he has since had surgery on said hand. He is done.

Could the Clippers take two of three without Chris Paul? Absolutely. Could they take two of three without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin? Eh, probably not. Griffin was hobbled after game four as well, and yesterday it was announced he’d miss the remainder of the playoffs after aggravating his strained quad. The snakebit keep getting more snakebitten.

The Clippers are now down two starters. Get ready for all the Austin Rivers and Jeff Green you can handle.

Losing two All-Stars is tough, but it’s not inconceivable that the Clippers could pull one out. No expectations means nothing to lose, and Doc Rivers is going to give one hell of a “nobody believes in us” speech before tip-off. Jamal Crawford can get hot in a hurry, Rivers is actually a capable defender, and Jeff Green is Jeff Green. There is a world where Austin Rivers could lead a team to a playoff win. That’s a world that I want absolutely no part of, but it is a world.

For the Blazers, it should be business as usual. Treat this team like a dangerous threat and stick to the game plan. Don’t let up, don’t look forward to round two yet. Keep attacking. Give Billy Crystal little to cheer for.

The second round of the playoffs is a very real probability. For a team that was projected to win 26 games this year, everything keeps coming up Blazers.

Blazers vs. Clippers Game 5

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Wed, Apr 27 at 7 pm

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