The Los Angeles Clippers have been touted by some as the favorite in the Western Conference. Reaching those lofty expectations would mean overtaking the Oklahoma City Thunder, a tall order in itself.
After being swept in last season's series, the Clippers hope to be up to the challenge Wednesday night when they host the Thunder for the first of four meetings.
Los Angeles (5-3) finished fourth in the conference last season at 56-26, while Oklahoma City (5-1) claimed the top seed with a 60-22 record. Those positions would have been reversed had a three-game season sweep gone in favor of the Clippers. Of their last 36 regular-season home games, two of the six losses have been to the Thunder.
A better performance from Chris Paul would likely help. He averaged 17.5 points and shot 10 for 35 (28.6 percent) while playing in two of the matchups. Russell Westbrook outplayed him, averaging 26.0 points and shooting 46.2 percent from 3-point range in three meetings.
Paul is off to a good st...