The Golden State Warriors have a 2-0 lead in their first-round series of the 2017 NBA playoffs against the Portland Trailblazers. If the Warriors can earn a split in the upcoming games that are to be played in Portland, then Steph Curry and all will be very difficult to catch in the playoffs. Assuming that they make the 2nd round, Golden State's draw looks a little less complicated now that the Los Angeles Clippers have suffered a major setback in losing power forward Blake Griffin.

Griffin suffered season-ending injury Friday

Griffin played part of game three of the Clippers' series against the Utah Jazz.

However, the power forward left the game with an injury and did not return to action. The Clippers won the game to take a 2-1 series lead, however the news was horrible regarding Griffin after the game. He will miss the remainder of the season with a fractured toe according to an April 22nd NBA.com article:

"The L.A. Clippers announced that forward Blake Griffin will miss the remainder of the 2017 NBA Playoffs with an injury to the plantar plate of his right big toe suffered during the Clippers’ 111-106 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round Playoff series."

Golden State looks even stronger

The Clippers looked like Golden State's only threat ahead of the conference finals.

However, with Griffin out, the Clippers now look far less threatening. They still need to beat the Jazz, something that got a bit more complicated without Griffin. However, even if they still manage to do that, then Los Angeles probably would need to be firing on all cylinders to give the Warriors a good run for their money.

The two-time defending conference champions appear to have a fairly clear path to the conference finals now. It might be that Utah are the Warriors' biggest threat before the conference finals, however the Jazz themselves, besides trailing 2-1 in the first round, have injury problems with a key player (Rudy Gobert).

The big threats in the conference are now the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs. Each is leading their first-round series against lower seeds 2-1. They appear destined for a second-round showdown with the winner going to the conference finals. In a nutshell, the Western Conference playoffs look like Golden State vs. to-be-decided even more than they looked before. The Griffin injury is the beginning of the end of Los Angeles' season with Golden State looking good.

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