What would an OKC Thunder playoff match with Clippers look like?

Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers looks on in a game against the OKC Thunder. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers looks on in a game against the OKC Thunder. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is congratulated by Chris Paul #3 following an NBA game . (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

What advantages does the OKC Thunder have over the L.A. Clippers?

The OKC Thunder are a scrappy team, that has really taken on a Blue Collar identity. For the first time in his NBA coaching career, you are finally seeing Billy Donovan be able to run his offensive system that was good enough to win back-to-back college basketball titles. Now, he is in the discussion for coach of the year with some of the best coaches in the league such as Nick Nurse.

The OKC Thunder typically uses an explosive three-guard lineup that will present a ton of mismatches with almost every other team. However, the Clippers boast three of the league’s top defenders in Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Patrick Beverley. That three-headed defensive monster quickly contains the Thunder’s twitchy lineups.

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Yet the OKC Thunder should still hold an advantage down-low. With the Clippers being forced to not only respect all three guards on the perimeter, but also the sharpshooting Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams should be able to feast down-low.

On paper, Adams should dominate a series against Clipper big men. With L.A. Ivica Zubac being the teams starting middle man, and the Clips scrambling to pick up Joakim Noah on Saturday, this should be a great matchup for Adams.

However, we have said that before. Remember last year against Enes “Can’t Play” Kanter in the postseason? Even in Tuesday’s matchup, the Thunder big man delivered a disappointing four-point, ten rebound effort.

The Thunder should be able to mid-pick-and-roll the Clippers to death offensively when the sharpshooting Gallo is on the floor, with good off-ball cutters surrounding the ball-handler and Adams.

The biggest question becomes, can Adams actually show up? After being played off the floor in each of the last two playoff series. For his career, Adams averages eight points, seven rebounds, and a block.