This Game 5 loss was a classic Clippers game as the good guys held a lead over the Nuggets for most of the game, but fell apart down the stretch to push the series to Game 6.

Summary

The miserable finale of this game was a long way off early. The Clippers looked extremely sharp defensively, with crisp rotations and active hands leading to stifled Nuggets’ possessions. On the other end, despite missing some shots, the Clippers moved the ball around well, and they jumped out to an early lead. However, every time they started to pull away a bit, the Nuggets would claw their way back. The Clippers’ bench unit struggled a bit more defensively, and despite some brilliance from Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers’ lead was just five going into the second quarter.

The bench, as it had for several games, played great for the Clippers early. They whipped the ball around the court, with repeated drive and kicks leading to open shots. Paul George spearheaded the charge, playing great basketball on both ends of the court. Lou was ice cold most of the night, but a couple floaters pushed the Clippers lead to 14, and all the momentum was going their way. The teams went back and forth a little, though the Clippers held onto a solid lead throughout. Then, near the end of the quarter, Paul Millsap and Marcus Morris Jr. got into a bit of a tussle, and Morris was assessed with a technical foul. It was seemingly unimportant at the time, but had big consequences. Nonetheless, the Clippers held a 14-point lead going into halftime, and had thoroughly outplayed the Nuggets on both ends.

Everything flipped in the 3rd quarter. While the Clippers’ defense was still sound enough, it lacked the energy and crispness of the 1st half. The rotations were a step slower, the closeouts not as fierce. And, slowly, the Nuggets began to get into a rhythm on offense. This was made worse by the fact that the Clippers couldn’t buy a basket. Their shots were open, they moved the ball around well, but they just couldn’t connect. A fair criticism would be that they were too jumper-happy at this point, but their looks were pretty excellent, so it’s tough to be too harsh. However, their lead was slowly chipped away, spurred by a suddenly ferocious Millsap. He took it at whatever defender was guarding him, bullying his way into the paint for scores and free throws, and draining a three for good measure. Marcus Morris responded with back to back threes of his own, but Millsap roared back, and the Clippers’ once 16-point lead was down to seven going into the 4th.

Things only got worse from there. The Clippers’ bench was unable to score, and, worse, ineffective at slowing the Nuggets. Montrezl Harrell made several poor decisions to attack in traffic and didn’t score, while Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic picked him apart on the other end. Soon, the Nuggets seized the lead, and all at once the energy and momentum was entirely in their favor. The starters checked back in for the Clippers, yet the damage was done. Kawhi was able to make a couple threes, and got to the line, but there was no rhythm or flow to the Clippers’ attack, and their defense failed at stringing stops together. Despite not playing all that well, they had the ball down two with under two minutes to go. Unfortunately, Lou Williams missed a wide open three, and Michael Porter Jr. drained a contested, early shot-clock triple for the Nuggets on the other end, effectively ending the game. Ultimately, the Clippers suffered a typically tragic loss, falling to the Nuggets 111-105.

Notes

The Doc-Trez Connection Strikes Again: Doc Rivers had mostly coached a good series to this point, but he fell back into a Mavs series blunder by overplaying Montrezl Harrell. Trez had a couple nice baskets in this one, but his defense and rebounding were as suspect as ever. He only played 16 minutes, but it felt like a whole lot longer. At this point, it’s questionable whether he should be getting more than 6 minutes per game. Playing Lou on a cold night wasn’t a great decision either, but Lou’s playmaking and confidence are more valuable than what Trez offers, and his defense is less noticeable compared to Trez due to position. Doc overplaying Harrell has cost the Clippers several times in the playoffs, and it struck them again in Game 5 against the Nuggets. If there was a single glaring weakness to the Clippers at this point (outside of sometimes stagnant offense), it’s Montrezl Harrell and Doc’s usage of him.

Ice Cold Lou: Lou Williams has been positively frigid from deep in the playoffs, shooting well under 30% on shots from distance. He was 0-5 from long range tonight, and his shot just isn’t there right now. He’s connected on a high percentage of his two-point shots in the playoffs, and his playmaking has been excellent, so he’s still providing value – yet the Clippers will need him to start connecting from three if they are going to win a championship. His effort on defense is appreciated, and he’s been less bad on that end than Montrezl Harrell (or Reggie Jackson), but those shots not falling cost the Clippers dearly tonight.

Dominant Kawhi: The one Clipper to emerge from tonight unscathed is Kawhi Leonard, who was brilliant with 32 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. He was the only Clipper able to consistently score in the 2nd half, and his defense was simply superb. It’s a mark of how badly the Clippers fell apart that they lost in a game where Kawhi was clearly determined to end the series. Hopefully they support him better in Game 6.

Ruffling Pauls’ Feathers: It’s impossible to know if Marcus Morris’ chirping at Paul Millsap is what got him going in the 3rd quarter. But going by the facts of the matter, he was dead quiet before the incident, and then put in 14 points in the 3rd quarter alone, looking like a man possessed. While the Clippers blew the game down the stretch, they truly lost it in the 3rd, and Millsap is the one who turned the tide. Morris has played well in these playoffs. He was 4-10 from the field and 3-6 from deep (his outside shooting has been unsustainably hot), and his defense was mostly solid. He’s even refrained from hogging shots as much as is his want. But his ejection against the Mavs could have cost them badly if the Mavs had been slightly better, and his raising of tempers could have pushed Millsap forward tonight. Sometimes it’s better to not get opposing players riled up, because it can have a negative impact.

The Clippers still hold a 3-2 lead despite their loss in Game 5, and can close the Nuggets out in Game 6 on Sunday morning. However, the Nuggets will have plenty of confidence after this win, and all the pressure will be on the Clippers. Hopefully this group is made of sturdier stuff than the Clippers of yore, because if not, this loss to the Nuggets in Game 5 could be just the beginning of an all-too-familiar dread.

82 Comments

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    I’m really scared. I feel like if we can’t win a closeout game where Kawhi dominates like this I’m not sure we can close Denver out.

    You would think Clipper fans would be due a little happiness but the basketball gods and Doc with his shitty rotations say otherwise.

    🙁

    I honestly don’t know if I can bring myself to watch game 6 after this traumatic experience tonight.

    • Robert Flom Robert Flom says:

      I still think they win in 6

    • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

      Before the series started, I called Clippers to win in 6, so we’re right on schedule. If it was against the Jazz, I would have said Clippers in 5.

      With that being said, Marcus Morris needs to cut the instigating crap out. If he wants to get in someone’s head, just play physical defense. Don’t try to rile up another player.

      I wonder if Doc actually pays attention to the film on Trez in his matchups against Plumlee and Jokic this series.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    Seriously, someone who can make contact with Doc like team reporters need to tell Doc that he shouldn’t play Trez in the Playoffs.
    It’s clear he actually somehow thinks that Clippers gonna lose 20pts if he didn’t play Trez and it will be disadvantageous for the team.
    No!!! They can share the ball, space the floor, maximize Kawhi/George’s talents and most important part is that they can defend. They won’t give up so many easy points on almost every possession unlike when Trez is on the floor.

    Why tf do they have to waste a bunch of possessions just to let Trez go stupid coast to coast or inefficient post-ups when they have Kawhi, George and Morris on their team????? Even if he gets to the line he’s a poor FT shooter, can’t make FTs. It’s absolutely very inefficient.

    I don’t wanna see them wasting games/losing games because or Trez anymore!

    I’ve been saying, play Patterson or Noah!! If Zu/JaMychal didn’t play well or got into foul trouble. Trez is not the answer.
    Even 5-10 minutes from Noah would be helpful. If only Noah was there to boxout opponents, it would be a huge upgrade from Trez because Trez doesn’t do anything!!!

    • Robert Flom Robert Flom says:

      People have been asking about the Trez minutes all season, and especially in the playoffs. Unfortunately (or fortunately), reporter questions generally do not influence coaches.

      • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

        Yea I remember Farbod or Azarly actually asked about this Trez problem after a miserable loss in the regular-season. January or February.
        Then, Doc answered “We needed offense.”

        …. LOL

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    THIS is some mind boggling shit…

    https://twitter.com/FlyByKnite/status/1304608400077070337?s=20

    Can someone reach out to Ballmer and put some pressure on Doc to cut this shit out! It’s insane!

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      per Russo…

      “In 45 minutes this series—so 9 minutes PER GAME—the Clippers are willingly letting Harrell face Jokic. And Denver has outscored them by 19 points in those 45 minutes. Jokic is shooting 64% in those minutes. And they let it keep happening. It’s beyond malpractice.”

      “To put this into greater context, in the fourth quarter of Game 5 tonight, they let Harrell be on the floor with Jokic for THREE MINUTES. Three! And they were outscored by 12. Jokic was 3-of-3 for 8 points in that stretch.”

      WOW. JUST WOW.

      • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

        Insane… I can’t believe….

        And there are still people here and there who have been saying “Don’t underestimate Trez’s energy & hustle! At least he can score!!”
        Someone actually replied to me like that yesterday. I guarantee those people have never actually watched a game.

        Saddest part is that Doc, a head coach of Clippers, is the same level as those people.

        • Avatar John Maclean says:

          10 recs to you and I’ve been saying the same exact thing. All of us who were certain we would close out tonight we’re correct. This team played fabulously but our coach fucked them. Now this incredibly talented young Nuggets team is fearless and I will be surprised if we win this series now. I hope Lebron remembers to thank Doc when he hoistS the Larry OB next month.

        • Avatar wwshep says:

          Yeah one of the writers here told me last game that I was too hard on Trez and that I needed to show him some love. SMDH.

          • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

            I take back all the nice things I said about Trez. I think Trez does have his moments on defense and does have some utility, but like the series against the Mavs, the Nuggets have length at the center position to give him issues. That and Trez’s decision making isn’t great.

  • Avatar Mario Molina says:

    Sometimes things just don’t work and the playoffs is all about adjusting. This is the coach’s job to make these adjustments. Harrell has shown his style of play is not working in the playoffs. It’s up to the coach to see this and make the right adjustments. He can review film and see the defense drops when Harrell is in. Why Doc continues to ignore this glaring issue is a huge problem. He obviously sees this and continues to ignore it. If he can’t make the right adjustments to put the right players that make our team better on both ends then even if we get past Denver the Lakers will capitalize on our weakness When Harrell is in. Let’s hope Doc steps up and does the right thing.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Energy and hustle are great as long as you harness it properly – tonight Trez had several reckless, out-of-control possessions on offense and some absolutely abysmal lapses on defense. It’s been 2 series now and I can’t think of a single game where we won where Trez played a big role…but I can think of a bunch of losses.

    I’m not worried about the players getting complacent, but I *am* worried about Doc falling asleep at the wheel when things are going well. We’ve discussed this ad nauseum. Bench Trez. Give his minutes to JMG.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    My faith in that happening is not high.

  • Avatar Thretch says:

    At what point did a moving screen become legal? I saw at least 3 Clippers wiped out by moving screens that led directly to baskets.

    And Jokic’s flailing was on full display tonight.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    If the Raptors win tonight get ready from the Kawhi should have stayed in Toronto hot takes all over social media. And with Doc as our coach part of me thinks they’re right. What I wouldn’t give to have Nick Nurse coaching this team.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    They’ve been losing whenever Trez is on the floor. It’s not about matchups. His on court presence is a negative for the team no matter who he plays against. He can’t defend anybody and doesn’t know how to play rotate/help/recover/box-out.

    It’s time to move on from him.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      I’m sure the FO has no intentions of resigning him after this shitshow. Jerry West HAS to be smarter than that. Unfortunately we will have wasted a year of Kawhi and PG’s primes as we get bounced by Denver due to Doc’s incompetence.

      • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

        Worst things can still happen. Considering how awful Trez has been playing, there will be no team that want to spend money on him. Even though Clippers FO is veryyyy smart, it’s still possible that they will somehow end up re-signing Trez on laughably cheap contract because no team is interested in this under-sized defense-less ball hog center. At least Doc is not a president of basketball operations anymore tho

        • Avatar wwshep says:

          I think FO will not sign him even for cheap because they have to protect Doc from himself. They know Doc is too incompetent and stubborn to recognize that Trez is unplayable so FO will have no choice to prevent Doc from having that option.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    More from Russo…

    “Nikola Jokic and Montrezl Harrell shared the court for a grand total of 4 minutes in the second half of Game 5.

    Nuggets outscored the Clippers by 18.

    In 4 minutes.”

    https://twitter.com/FlyByKnite/status/1304616743176822784?s=20

    I honestly am about to lose my shit I am so angry at Doc for this!

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      I’ve been thinking that they should hire Justin Russo at this point lol
      I can’t believe they don’t have any analysts. Or even if they actually have those staffs, I guess Doc has never heard about them.

      • Avatar wwshep says:

        If ANYONE reading this has any connections to Clippers FO or coaching staff PLEASE share this info… The teams playoff hopes hang in the balance and if Doc doesn’t adjust his rotations we’re done for. Although after tonight’s momentum shift to Denver and huge confidence boost for them it might even be too late.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    Yeah this is the team we choose to root for… we must be freaking masochists.

    https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1304591029904068609?s=20

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    I wouldn’t get too crazy about this one. Still up 3/2, an xlnt position to be in. Not in terms of keeping up with the Joneses, er, Lake show, but in terms of taking out Denver. We can and most likely will do it in game 6. Had a big lead tonite and the guys just got a big slap in the face telling them they can’t take any lead for granted.

    Denver’s good, real good. Nice team and pieces there. Much, much better than the Rox and Nugs would bother the Lake Show, not roll over and play dead like the Rox. So respect your opponent and tonite the Clips respect lever for Nugs just took a big ass leap.

    Lou was just as culpable as Trez. Down two, with the ball and a minute to go, he chucked an ill advised shot from very deep that missed badly on a nite when he was 0 from deep and when he had both stars in the game. Dumb shit decision. He’s gotta know it.

    No one’s gonna side with me on this but Reggie effin Jackson is a better shooter (from distance anyway) than Lou Williams RIGHT NOW.

    And Shep, you sound like chicken little. Grow the eff up.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      with all due respect GFY

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      Amen except for the Reggie Jackson part.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      “the guys just got a big slap in the face telling them they can’t take any lead for granted”

      If this team hadn’t gotten that message by now with all the leads they’ve blown, it’s never going to happen. And let’s be real, the blown leads are more of a Doc problem than a player problem anyway, and we all know he refuses to ever learn from past failures.

      • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

        I wanna give you 1,000 recs if possible.

        In this season, they’ve blown out huge 15-20pts lead over and over and over and over ….because of near 20 minutes straight of Trez on the 2nd half. And this coach still keeps use this awful strategy on this stage.

  • Avatar Cole Huff says:

    I wouldn’t panic yet simply because I don’t think the players on this team are going to panic.

    That being said, this was a bad loss. Trez has been the punching bag here (rightfully so) but we’re going to have to have a Lou Will convo pretty soon…

    • Robert Flom Robert Flom says:

      Lou has been really cold, but his playmaking has been good and his defense is less egregious than Trez because he’s just involved in less plays due to position.

      That said, they absolutely need him to be better if they’re going to make a championship run.

      • Avatar Cole Huff says:

        I know we joked about this on Twitter in regards to Landry, but Lou has been a Jerome clone as well during the bubble. Doing a lot of the little things well, but not doing the one thing well that he is relied on to do. He’s missing open shots left and right, but at least he’s getting good looks, which is why I think they’ll go in eventually. I think they get this done on Sunday.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      Lou’s struggling individually, especially with his shot, but the Clippers are winning when he’s on the floor.

      With Lou on, ORTG 119.9, DRTG 110.5, NETRTG +9.4
      With Lou off, ORTG 108.0, DRTG 103.3, NETRTG +4.6

      So, through 11 playoff games they’re better on offense with Lou on the floor and worse on defense with him on the floor, but the gain on offense is bigger than the loss on defense. That’s even with just 22% from three. It hurts when he hits a big shot in a big moment because he’s ice cold, but he’s helping on the aggregate.

      With Trez on, ORTG 107.2, DRTG 114.9, NETRTG -7.7
      With Trez off, ORTG 121.4, DRTG 103.3, NETRTG +18

      So, they win with Lou off the floor, but they win by quite a bit more with him on the floor. They lose significantly with Trez on the floor, and dominate teams in non-Harrell minutes. They’re significantly better defensively and offensively without Trez.

      Here’s an interesting note, too:

      With Lou and Trez on, ORTG 107.5, DRTG 118.6, NETRTG -11.2
      With Lou on and Trez off, ORTG 131.9, DRTG 97.6, NETRTG +34.3

      The Clippers are absurdly good with just Lou and not Trez, and that’s in 132 minutes! That’s a pretty big sample size for an 11-game stretch!

      And just to dispel “Trez doesn’t get to play with the starters like Zubac does”:

      With Kawhi and Trez on, ORTG 102.3, DRTG 119.6, NETRTG -17.6
      With Kawhi on and Trez off, ORTG 121.1, DRTG 103.5, NETRTG +17.6

      With Kawhi, PG, and Trez on, ORTG 100.8, DRTG 124, NETRTG -23.2
      With Kawhi and PG on, and Trez off, ORTG 119.4, DRTG 104.4, NETRTG +15.0

      With Kawhi, PG, Morris, and Trez on, ORTG 95.9, DRTG 112.2, NETRTG -16.3
      With Kawhi, PG, and Morris on, and Trez off, ORTG 119.9, DRTG 106.4, NETRTG +13.5

      • Avatar Cole Huff says:

        Ok I’ve never really learned much about the specifics of what offensive and defensive rating are composed of, but looking at the numbers it’s easy to see that Trez is the common denominator in all of those poor ratings regardless of who else is on the court to help him. I’ve always been told by coaches how it only takes one person not doing his job to to make the whole team look like trash; here we have it. **PS next time we talk you’ll have to school me on a lot of three analytics**

        I guess my problem with Lou has been that he has been unable clean up Trezz’s mess(?) which is unfair. Without rewatching the games to know specifically, it seems that there are a lot of deflating and timely missed shots that Lou has (ending runs, cutting into leads, expanding leads to give a bit more breathing room, etc.). It shouldn’t be his responsibility to do that, we just have come to expect it over his tenure in LA.

        Back to Trez – there’s just no reason he should be playing more than JaMychal. At what point does Doc realize this? It’s really that simple. I’m honestly at the point of preferring see him sit behind Noah. Noah will be a step slow and probably not very good at times, but I trust his IQ, effort, and ability to put the team above him, way more than Trez. That’s all you need in 10-15 minutes in the playoffs.

        • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

          So, I’m not really an advanced metrics buy, but the ratings ones are pretty simple and highly useful. It’s just “points created per 100 possessions when this player is on the floor” vs “points allowed per 100 possessions when this player was on the floor.” Where one player’s +/- isn’t comparable to another’s due to volume of minutes and pace, NETRTG adjusts for those.

          Where NETRTG isn’t useful & can be misused is to compare guys on different teams and/or in different contexts, since the data captures the entirety of the lineup. So a guy on a bad team is always gonna have a worse NETRTG than a guy on a good team, because the bad team surrounds him with worse players, scores fewer points, allows more points, and loses more games.

          Another example of a limitation: JaMychal Green is the only non-Trez LAC player to have a negative NETRTG in the playoffs at -3.7. Landry is third-worst at +1.7. But check this out: Green is -14.8 when playing with Trez and +16.8 when playing without him, and Landry is -29.5 when playing with Trez and +16.9 when playing without him. Because net rating captures the whole lineup, a guy doesn’t control his own net rating the way he controls his own, say, field goal %. So it’s always important to dig into different combinations, different situations, etc. Does a lineup have a horrible net rating, but you check and it’s a small sample size weighed down by a 6-minute stretch where the other team made 5/6 threes? Etc etc.

          Regarding Lou, I think he’s curiously at a point where we know he’s a weak defender, he’s really struggling to score, but the most important thing he’s done for this team this season is be their best natural distributor, and given that Kawhi is the only other player who is consistently generating assists and setting up other guys, the Clippers would really miss Lou’s distribution and have a hard time replacing him if his minutes were reduced. That doesn’t mean his shooting and defense aren’t liabilities, just that I think you need to do whatever you can to find lineups where he can succeed. I’m not really sure that Trez is giving you anything positive right now that you would really miss if his minutes were cut.

          Frankly I’m with you on not only Green over Trez but Noah over Trez. I don’t think Noah is gonna be great (or even good), but so much of where Trez hurts the Clippers is by being below-replacement-level. It’s the bad positioning, the defensive lunges with no chance of success that put him out of rebounding position, the laziness, the selfishness. Ryan Hollins would give the Clippers better minutes.

          I think Green is actually above replacement-level–he’s perfectly capable of being average on the defensive end between his good rebounding, strength, and versatility/switchability that makes up for lack of size. Offensively, his shooting opens up a whole new world of driving lanes for guys. The Clippers need to do a better job getting Green 3PA when he’s playing C, though, as he’s just 2-2 from deep in 26 minutes with no Zu/no Trez.

        • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

          Noah: Joker would run circles around him as his body just won”t let him move anymore. Like a slow motion player. Worse than Gortat.

  • Avatar Alan Ng says:

    Perhaps we could secretly send a person outside the bubble to Trez’s room.
    That way, he’ll be in violation and be quarantined for 10 days ala House.

  • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

    This series is now over. Our only chance of winning this series now would be if Trez is benched for the rest of the playoffs. And since Doc is still our coach, that isn’t happening. The second-round curse continues.

  • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

    Kawhi continues to astound but can’t do everything by himself, though he tries. I thought PG was an acceptable Robin to Kawhi’s Batman in this game. Doc continues to perversely toss a wrench (Trez) into this sometimes amazing machine. It was painful watching Monsta get stuffed under the basket. I agree that Doc must do better. I have faith that we win Sunday morning and advance to the hoped-for showdown against the Lakers. This from an ever-hopeful Clippers fan.

  • Avatar Oodypkt says:

    Reading the comments make you feel like we are down 0-3.
    This team have planned for years to bring the ultimate weapon in the playoffs.
    This is not the stuff that make them panic.
    Have faith in them and in us guys.
    Go clips!

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      You should get into a panic when Doc still plays Trez and blows the huge lead. They’re losing whenever Trez is on the floor.

      • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

        It wasn’t really an insurmountable lead. It felt shaky to me all along. Denver is a really good team, the Clippers are a deeper and better team with a historically great player in Kawhi. I believe the deeper and better team should win the series if its coach does a better job. But therein lies the rub.

        • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

          yes I believe they can win.
          But at this point, Clipper are not even a deep team because Doc doesn’t know how to use those talented players. He chose Trez over Patterson/Noah when they needed defense. He chose Lou and let him shoot when he’s been ice cold.

  • Avatar ksihoo says:

    Sounds like it’s the same story all over again. Every time we lose a game, it’s like “the series is over”, “coach to be fired”, “players to be traded” etc. And yes all 4 playoffs loses were painful (they always are) but all were close and no one can accuse this team of not trying. No blowouts and most importantly we have bounced back every single time. We have also not trailed in these playoffs yet, so why so much pessimism? These are playoffs, there are some desperate young and talented teams we have been facing. We lose some, but this teams had not any game they really needed to win. They keep delivering when it matters and that is most important.. I said it before during the Dallas series and wil say it again. These loses might be a blessing in disguise. This team is still a work in progress as claimed by its members after every game. You need to have these learnings to eventually get over the top. I believe it’s much better for us to have been well tested in ealier rounds in order to be ready and strong when it really matters. Relax and enjoy the ride, it’ far from over.

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      “blessing”, “learnings”, “progress” …?

      Doc still hasn’t learned anything. This is why people are mad at him.
      You can’t say “Relax, it’s learning experience”, “Let’s enjoy to see them blowing out huge lead”, “They will get better”.
      They will get better but you can easily notice that Doc and Trez hasn’t got any better IF YOU’VE ACTUALLY WATCHED GAMES.
      There is no need to blow huge leads over and over and over and over. There is no need to try to make Trez happy instead of trying to win. But Doc still somehow let Trez play huge minutes against Jokic and they’ve been getting outscored by Nuggets where Trez is on the floor.

      • Avatar ksihoo says:

        I do watch all the games and I am never relaxed watching then. I also see the issues that you see with Trez. But I also see the team’s progress especially on the defensive side. I see them in control of every series and I see them stepping up when really needed. And we haven’t even needed any heroics so fat. Kawhi is great but the best of him is yet to come. That is why is believe there is no reason to panic or throw blames on people who are much bigger bball minds than we are.

        • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

          I agree with your “It’s much better for them to have been well tested in ealier rounds” part. Doc should realize he can’t play Trez, and Trez also needs to realize how horrible he is. Like you said, I believe they will bounce back.

          Toughest part is that Doc refuses to learn things from mistakes. Pretty sure he will keep Trez no matter how awful he is.

      • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

        Do you really think Doc made Trez happy last nite? Betting Trez feels terrible right about now.

        • Avatar wwshep says:

          He should

        • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

          This coach is on another level of stupidness.
          Doc actually thinks playing Trez entire 2nd half can make him happy. This is why Doc has been doing the same thing during regular-season no matter how many times they blow a huge lead.

          If he cared about winning, he wouldn’t stick with Trez that long.

  • Avatar osamu6238 says:

    Like others, I still expect a win in Game 6, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I’m just not sure this team should be favorites for a title, or even to make the finals. Their so called “depth” is getting consistently outplayed by it’s competition, dating back to the Dallas series. Key of which its two biggest bench players are playing like mediocre role players. I know the stats about Lou in this series, but he’s in year 15, he is who he is, and that’s a scorer. If he’s not doing that for you, he shouldn’t be in the game.

    They’re lucky they have the depth to still field a decent team without those guys playing like the near stars they’re billed to be, but without them, I’m not sure their depth is much better than the team across the hallway (of the hotel).

    Positive is, I think it’s become very clear who the best 5 man lineup is, and I do think those 5 can play with any other team remaining in the bubble, but I think just like a lot of other teams, it gets pretty shaky when you’re going to the bench, and that was supposed to be this team’s strength.

    • Avatar ksihoo says:

      Questionable depth is what worries me much more than blowing the leads (Lucas actually gave a great explanation to the ‘make or miss’ game of runs we are expierencing in the NBA 2020). The only reliable sub at the moment is JaMychal and he is not the one to help much offensively or will be playing big minutes (although could play closer to 25mpg in my opinion). We can only hope that Lou will get out of the shooting slump sooner rather than later. He is still good in playmaking and we need that from the bench. Landry is not able to deliver much more in current role, I guess. The biggest disappointment is Trez of course. I am sure that the coaching staff is as aware of the negative effect that Trez brings to the game, and the only reason I can see justifying playing him is to make him better/more confident for the next rounds. He has played 11 games since March. He is better than he was against the Mavs (but still really bad), but maybe the coaching staff does not see us winning the chip without his A-game (and he can be better than what we have seen so far in the bubble). That’s a risky tactics though. He has lost us some games, let’s hope he will not lose us a series.

  • Avatar Peter Goul says:

    I understand the Trez vitriol as he has been abysmal in the bubble. But this comes down to Doc solely. He continuously puts Trez (and the team) in a position to fail. Trez plays hard for the most part but just does not have the skill set offensively or defensively to help this squad in the playoffs.

    That being said, Sunday’s loss was a team effort. Yes, Doc poured gas on the fire with his poor substitutions, but the guys lacked focus and intensity….and missed a lot of great looks. 49 points in the second half would have given us a 1 point win. As terrible as the defense was, we can’t go 16 and 19 in the final 2 frames and expect to win.

    Momentum is against us, but I am still hopeful we can pull it out on Tuesday. If not, I will take a deep breath and remind myself (as i have over the past 25 teas as a Clipper fan) that it is only basketball.