So much for the Battle of LA…
I always knew that the Clippers were overrated, and not because of their talent. This team simply did not have enough chemistry, playmakers, and rim protection to go far in the playoffs. It is almost like you could see it coming, but you would rather bet on their talent to get them far, right?
You could even see it in the first round against the Dallas Mavericks. No Porzingis, and Luka took them six games. Then this round, they were up 3-1 against the Nuggets, and then completely collapsed on the biggest stage. I think the Clippers need to file a missing persons report for Paul George because he was nowhere to be found. Patrick Beverley, Marcus Morris, and Montrezl Harrell are always running their mouths.
Did they back up that talk? Well, they were outplayed by Monte Morris, Michael Porter Jr., Paul Millsap, and Jerami Grant.
Doc Rivers, who is supposed to be an elite NBA coach, was outcoached by Mike Malone, who has significantly less championship experience than Rivers. The Clippers have zero excuse. None.
They blew three double digit leads in a row. They failed to close out a team, that they are clearly better than talent wise. The Nuggets beat them because they played together, and with continuity. The Clippers did not, and people tried to brush it off. Chemistry is important for ANY team. It does not matter how talented you are, if you do not play together, and everyone is out there with their own ego, then you are not going to accomplish your goal. Ask the 2019 Celtics.
However, if you see that your team is not performing well, then it is your job as the star player to step up, and lead them. The Clippers best player is Kawhi Leonard. He has a history of showing up for big time games, and moments. He was nowhere to be found in Game 7. He scored 14 points on 6-22 shooting, and ZERO points in the fourth quarter. I am not giving Kawhi a pass here. If this was LeBron James, the NBA would shut down again. I do not want to hear Kawhi in the same breath. Kawhi simply failed to show up when this team needed him the most. You would not expect it from him, but it happened, and it cost his team.
Not to mention, Paul George was not much of a threat either. He calls himself ‘Playoff P’. What has he done to deserve that nickname? Besides those runs with the Pacers, he has not lived up to that self proclaimed nickname. To make matters worse, they have a short championship window. Kawhi, and George have one year left on their contracts. Next year is championship, or bust for the Clippers.
Bust is looking more likely than a championship next season.
This is just the same old Clippers, a team that will always be second fiddle in LA. They can’t be the main attraction when they cannot even make it past the second round of the playoffs, even with the most talented team in the NBA. This is one of the most disappointing teams in the history of the NBA.
Kudos to the Nuggets for going to the conference finals, but man the Clippers just disappointed. I speak for myself when I say I am not surprised.
Photo: Sports Illustrated