Clippers Thread: Just Be Healthy in April

Sam Ray Not

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According to tweet below, Doc Rivers is the only coach who has blown a 3-1 series lead twice and is going for the trifecta.

View: https://twitter.com/SaycheeseDGTL/status/1305233476191424512
With apologies to ElUno... I’m kinda surprised we haven’t been more inundated with the parallels to 2015: Doc-coached Clips team up 3-1, poised to reach the first Conference Finals in franchise history (now 50 seasons, counting the Braves). Heck, they were more than poised in that series: in Game 6, with the Clips up 19 late in third Q and cruising towards a date in the WCF with the Baby Dubs (whom they had eliminated the season before), the Rockets practically laid down their swords and conceded the series, benching both Harden and Howard for the entire 4th quarter. And... led by Corey Brewer and Josh Smith, the Rockets somehow put up a 40-15 4th quarter. Serious shades of the 60-25 meltdown we just witnessed.

Still: I think there’s a great chance this is a “darkest just before the dawn” scenario where the Clips use this adversity to springboard then through the WCF and Finals ... similar to the ‘04 Sox went they down 0-3.

Alternatively: the Clips’ infamy will deepen, and the Nuggets will have morphed from perennial pretenders to balls-of-steel winners before our eyes...
 

Kliq

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There has been talk the entire season about the Clippers never really taking the season seriously. Whether it was load management or just a general effort night-to-night, I read and heard frequent criticism from the media about how the Clippers were acting like the Warriors, or the late-stage Heatles era, where they were this super-accomplished, championship team, that understood who they were and could coast during the regular season because they knew exactly what they had to do to turn it on in the playoffs and get the most out of the team. In the playoffs we have seen that they haven't really figured their identity out, and this is largely still a team that hasn't played that much together, especially when you factor in the gap in the season and the moves they made at the trade deadline.

Kawhi did the same load management thing in Toronto last season, but that was a different situation. That was a tightly defined unit that knew how to play together, they were just upgrading from DeRozan to Kawhi. When they added players at the trade deadline, it was bringing in a selfless, high IQ player in Marc Gasol; not players like Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson. The approach to the season from the Clippers has been lazy and I think they are paying the price right now, as less-talented teams are able to beat them with some consistency because the Clippers haven't figured out what they need to do to be successful. The front office, Doc and the players all deserve part of the blame.
 

benhogan

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That was a tightly defined unit that knew how to play together, they were just upgrading from DeRozan to Kawhi. When they added players at the trade deadline, it was bringing in a selfless, high IQ player in Marc Gasol; not players like Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson. The approach to the season from the Clippers has been lazy and I think they are paying the price right now, as less-talented teams are able to beat them with some consistency because the Clippers haven't figured out what they need to do to be successful. The front office, Doc and the players all deserve part of the blame.
+1 good points. I didn't care for their additions at the trade deadline or how they are being used by Doc.

MaMo is not a starter on a championship-caliber team. He just isn't (here come the on/off stats patrol).
Bad fit. He's fine as a bench scorer against 2nd units where his below-average help defense does not get as exploited. But they already had Lou Williams for that role.

MaMo also views himself as an alpha scorer and takes shots away from their more efficient offensive stars. I'm not sure MaMo has ever seen a pick/screen he has liked unless it means he's veering off for a catch and shoot. Plus his tough-guy, Philly act is old/tired, all it did was fire up Milsap & crew in Game 5 when the Nuggets were all but dead and buried.
 
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Tony C

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Jokic played 40 minutes, Zubac 30. Would you go 40 minutes with Z?
Yeah, I think I'd defend Doc a bit on this, too. First, you're right -- Doc has upped Zubac from 18 minutes in the regular season to 30 and 32 in the last 2 games, so it isn't as if he's going status quo. Pushing an 18 minutes a game guy to 40...not sure if he'd keep up with Jokic playing 40 minutes. Second, I don't know what is up with Lou W and Trez, but isn't that the larger question? They should be rounding into shape, not declining -- I can't blame Doc for not panicking and largely benching two stud 6 man of the year types. Shamet has been poor for much of this season, too, and Reggie Jackson is...Reggie Jackson. If you give up on Trez and Lou W, too, what are you left with?
 

Kliq

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+1 good points.

MaMo is not a starter on a championship-caliber team. He just isn't. Bad fit. He's fine as a bench scorer against 2nd units where his below-average help defense does not get as exploited. But they already had Lou Williams for that role.

MaMo also views himself as an alpha scorer and takes shots away from their more efficient offensive stars. I'm not sure MaMo has ever seen a pick/screen he has liked unless it means he's veering off for a catch and shoot. The same goes for Reggie Jackson. Hollow numbers crew
It's classic bad roster construction. Teams go overboard trying to be the super team and bring in what they think is an embarrassment of riches; but ignore the reality that in the playoffs, you are probably never going to play any minutes when Kawhi/George are both going to be on the bench, and both guys are going to be playing 40+ minutes so there are not really any time you are going to be leaning on Morris/Jackson's inefficient scoring to carry the team. The Clippers don't need a team of 20 ppg scorers, they needed dependable role players who could do a few things well and not rock the boat. I don't get why they ran Mo Harkless out of town; he isn't great but at least he was a big wing that could play decent defense and make corner threes.
 

the moops

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It's classic bad roster construction. Teams go overboard trying to be the super team and bring in what they think is an embarrassment of riches; but ignore the reality that in the playoffs, you are probably never going to play any minutes when Kawhi/George are both going to be on the bench, and both guys are going to be playing 40+ minutes so there are not really any time you are going to be leaning on Morris/Jackson's inefficient scoring to carry the team. The Clippers don't need a team of 20 ppg scorers, they needed dependable role players who could do a few things well and not rock the boat. I don't get why they ran Mo Harkless out of town; he isn't great but at least he was a big wing that could play decent defense and make corner threes.
I don't know. A couple weeks ago all anyone could talk about was the incredible depth this team had and they were the clear favorties to win a title (or at least co-favortites with the Lakers).
 

Kliq

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I don't know. A couple weeks ago all anyone could talk about was the incredible depth this team had and they were the clear favorties to win a title (or at least co-favortites with the Lakers).
They do have a lot of depth, particularly that Kawhi/George/Williams/Harrell can all score 20+ efficiently and in comparison to the Lakers (pre-playoff Rondo, pre-surprisingly good Markieff Morris) who were really just a two-man team with very little else. I don't think anyone on this board was really hyping up the fact that they had Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson as being a key factor in them being the title favorites.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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It's classic bad roster construction. Teams go overboard trying to be the super team and bring in what they think is an embarrassment of riches; but ignore the reality that in the playoffs, you are probably never going to play any minutes when Kawhi/George are both going to be on the bench, and both guys are going to be playing 40+ minutes so there are not really any time you are going to be leaning on Morris/Jackson's inefficient scoring to carry the team. The Clippers don't need a team of 20 ppg scorers, they needed dependable role players who could do a few things well and not rock the boat. I don't get why they ran Mo Harkless out of town; he isn't great but at least he was a big wing that could play decent defense and make corner threes.
Mo Harkless is a worse corner three point shooter than Marcus Morris by a lot. He is a better defender but an overall worse basketball player than Mook. I don't see how swapping Morris for Harkless changes this series. Harkless isn't going to stop Jokic anymore than Morris and his crappy offense means anytime he is on the court on offense that Malone can send bodies elsewhere to swarm Jokic and Murray etc.

That said, there has been lots of chatter around the Clippers chemistry so perhaps there is something to the roster construction there. I am not ready to shovel dirt on this team just yet.
 

ElUno20

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Ive been saying it all year, they dont have chemistry. Kawhi's load management + pg starting the season off injured + doc not requiring his stars to really practice = recipe for disaster.

I'll shovel the dirt. They look dead to me.
 

soxhop411

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congrats to doc on blowing his third 3-1 series lead! Go get a trophy made for this proud achievement! You should be so proud!

Leave doc in the bubble and don’t let him fly back to LA.
He does not learn from his fucking mistakes!
 

GoJeff!

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Nice season for the Clips. Tie their all -time best finish by taking the Nuggets to 7 games in the western semis. A season to remember.
 

soxhop411

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Time to hang up that banner Doc!

“3 time Champion of blowing 3-1 series leads!”

if Ballmer doesn’t fire doc they deserve to live in championship purgatory.

now let me go get drunk.
 

ElUno20

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Dont want to hear shit else ever about Kawhi either. He disappeared 3 straight games when they needed him most
 

soxhop411

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View: https://twitter.com/KevinOConnorNBA/status/1306073064506097665

“@KevinOConnorNBA: Doc Rivers has coached SIX teams that have blown 3-1 or 3-2 series leads:

2020 Round 2 vs Nuggets, 3-1 lead
2015 Round 2 vs Rockets, 3-1 lead
2012 East Finals vs Heat, 3-2 lead
2010 NBA Finals vs Lakers, 3-2 lead
2009 Round 2 vs Magic, 3-2 lead
2003 Round 1 vs Pistons, 3-1 lead”
Absolutely amazing records being set by doc! No wonder he is such an amazing coach that no near mortal can defeat!

HOF level coach if he continues this record setting pace
 

scottyno

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So looking at the pbp that's definitely Harrell and possibly Beverley or Lou, I'm not sure if the clips best lineup has both Bev and Lou in it or not.

They all played between 25-30 minutes tonight, Harrell was their only good offensive player and ended up sitting out nearly half the 4th quarter.

Meanwhile Kawhi and PG played the entire 4th until they were pulled once the game was clearly over.
 

soxhop411

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View: https://twitter.com/NotoriousOHM/status/1306084213980946432

View: https://twitter.com/DanWoikeSports/status/1306089486502293505


This shit mentality is inexcusable and needs to stop. And it seems like it starts at the top with the coach. Since it’s apparent he didn’t put a stop to it.
Paul George says that while the Clippers wanted the pressure of the title expectations, they also just could never find the chemistry. He adds "internally" the Clippers never felt it was "championship or bust" this season. They feel they got more contending ahead.
The jaw-dropping quote of the night from Paul George: "I think internally, we always felt this was not a championship-or-bust year for us."
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Harrell being out of shape after leaving the bubble for his grandmother's death has been discussed in the media. It feels kind of cheap to take shots for that.

Also, while George gets a lot of heat, he has been open about his struggles with mental health during this restart. It had to have played a role with his performance. In the old days, less evolved people would refer to a player like him as a "headcase". Now, hopefully, we know better.

Given how hard George has worked in his career, I am willing to bet he gets through it. Also, his shoulder has been bothering him of late based on post-game icing. That also might have played a role in his performance.

That said, the chemistry stuff has been around all year and is clearly real. Thought this was pretty damning from McCollum too.

View: https://twitter.com/CJMcCollum/status/1306073845342691330?s=19

View: https://twitter.com/CJMcCollum/status/1306073845342691330?s=19
 

scottyno

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Clippers lost the 4th quarters of g5 g6 g7 by a combined 35 points. Kawhi and PG sucked tonight, but they had 2 golden chances to not even get to tonight and that's what happens sometimes in a g7.
 

nighthob

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View: https://twitter.com/KevinOConnorNBA/status/1306073064506097665


Absolutely amazing records being set by doc! No wonder he is such an amazing coach that no near mortal can defeat!

HOF level coach if he continues this record setting pace
In fairness you can’t really put 2009-2010 on him. His 4/5 rotation in ‘09 had one guy taller than 6’6”. In the days when behemoths still roamed the courts. And it certainly wasn’t his fault that Fat Andy Bynum blew up Kendrick Perkins’s knee in 2010. After that the Lakers just played volleyball and threw the ball at the rim and let their seven footers just keep tipping the ball until it went in.

Talk to the owners, who decided in the ‘08 offseason that Boston didn’t need to add any players to replace the ones 6’8” and taller that left. When Garnett showed up with a serious bone chip issue in his knee during the ‘09 preseason they had no choice but to risk his health because their other two Fs were 6’5” Leon Powe and 6’6” Big Baby. You couldn’t go through a season with those two and Kendrick Perkins as your 4/5 rotation. Of course after Garnett blew out his popliteus that was exactly what happened.
 

lovegtm

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I still can't get over the draft assets that OKC has now. They own two sets of draft rights that are each bigger than the Nets fiasco, with both franchises on the verge of completely imploding. Extraordinary.
 

Euclis20

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I still can't get over the draft assets that OKC has now. They own two sets of draft rights that are each bigger than the Nets fiasco, with both franchises on the verge of completely imploding. Extraordinary.
Wait till you see what they are able to extract from the Bucks in exchange for Chris Paul.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I still can't get over the draft assets that OKC has now. They own two sets of draft rights that are each bigger than the Nets fiasco, with both franchises on the verge of completely imploding. Extraordinary.
Not to mention they are going to have tons of cap space after next year when Schroder and Adams come off the books - and that's assuming they don't trade Chris Paul.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Not to mention they are going to have tons of cap space after next year when Schroder and Adams come off the books - and that's assuming they don't trade Chris Paul.
Presti, didn't just corner the market on draft assets. He happened to acquire CP3 in the year where several high profile franchises flamed out earlier than expected in the playoffs and there may well be a robust Paul market as a result. He is very likely to add to that wealth of picks.
 

Tony C

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Thing is OKC is a pretty strong team as is. I doubt they want more picks -- I think they'll want to convert Paul and/or some of the many picks they have into complements to Shai G-A and keep competing.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Thing is OKC is a pretty strong team as is. I doubt they want more picks -- I think they'll want to convert Paul and/or some of the many picks they have into complements to Shai G-A and keep competing.
Or into even more cap space for the 2021 offseason, which for now at least looks like it could be historically great in terms of available free agents. Not hard to envision a scenario where OKC trades Paul and one or more picks for an expiring contract and takes a bit of a step back next year with the chance to significantly improve through the draft and free agency after that. They have a ton of flexibility.
 

johnmd20

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There was also this absurd quote from Doc Rivers after he became the first coach in NBA history to blow three different 3-1 series leads: “I was never comfortable. Never was. Conditioning-wise, we had guys who couldn’t play minutes.”

How you load manage all season long just to run out of gas in the playoffs? What the fuck is happening here?
Awesome.