NBA 3 on 3 Tournament Round One -- Los Angeles Clippers Vs. Portland Trail Blazers

The 5-12 matchup in the West pits the Los Angeles Clippers against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Clippers feature a pair of starters from the All Star Game in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, joined by the versatile Lamar Odom. Of course, the versatile Lamar Odom was actually the completely useless Lamar Odom the last time he played professional basketball, so he's a risk on this team. But Paul and Griffin running pick and roll in a 3 on 3 game could be pretty damn great.

The Blazers, on the other hand, have a superstar forward of their own in LaMarcus Aldridge, joined by the recently re-signed Nicolas Batum and rookie Damian Lillard, the star of this year's NBA summer league (a phrase once used to describe Jerryd Bayless of the Blazers, BTW). Lillard trying to contain Paul is probably going to determine the outcome of this showdown, and that doesn't bode well for Portland.

What does the panel think?

  • Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Clippers win 13 of 20
  • Andrew Sharp, SB Nation NBA -- Clippers win 15 of 20
  • Frank Madden, Brew Hoop -- Clippers win 16 of 20
  • CA Clark, Silver Screen and Roll -- Clippers win 19 of 20
  • Adam Francis, Raptors HQ -- Portland wins 12 of 20
  • Overall probabilities -- Clippers 71 percent; Portland 29 percent

Expert Comments:

Portland gets an unlucky draw: they have a great little 3 on 3 team, but the Clips might win this whole thing. -- Ziller

Portland's team is pretty solid, but Chris Paul is not losing a game of 3 on 3 unless the other team is basically invincible. Any team that features Nicholas Batum and Damian Lillard is not invincible. -- Sharp

Damian Lillard figures to get a first-rate education from Chris Paul in this one, with the obvious question being whether Blake Griffin and/or Lamar Odom can offer up any resistance to LaMarcus Aldridge in the post. Probably not, but the Blazers will have even more trouble containing Paul and Griffin's lethal P&R action. The Clips' bigger guys will struggle to match up with Nic Batum as well, but playing halfcourt certainly doesn't do the French high-flyer any favors. -- Madden

Rookie point guard on Chris Paul? That's just brutal. Portland gets one on the back of a hot Aldridge, but this one is no contest. -- Clark

Upset alert! The difference to me in this one is shooting where all three Blazers can score from nearly anywhere on the court. The same can't be said for the Clippers, who lose some of Griffin's effectiveness in the 3 on 3 setting. -- Francis

The Bottom Line

Dissension in the ranks of the panelists! Four out of five pick the Clippers, including a Lakers blogger calling it a blowout, but one judge predicts an upset. Even with a severely misguided Canadian on the panel (and we'll see if he gets assigned to any more Clippers games should the LAC survive), the Clippers are a pretty solid 71 percent to win.

The Blazers have a decent 29 percent chance to pull the upset, but it will take some friendly rolls of the dice.

Who do you think would win?

The results will be posted later this afternoon.

For a complete look at the SB Nation 3 on 3 Tournament, check back with this StoryStream.

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