At the start of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, with the Clippers themselves not playing, we took a glance around the league to check on some of our old friends who are participating in the postseason with new teams. As the playoffs unfold, we’ll check on in the FCIT2022NBAPOs (Former Clippers In The 2022 NBA PlayOffs) to see how they’re doing. This week, we have our first round of eliminations. We’ll take one final look at how those 10 guys did, and then drop them from our roundup next week.

Saying Goodbye

  • Lou Williams: The Hawks ultimately went down in 5 games to the Miami Heat at the Heat defense completely stifled Trae Young. Lou wasn’t in uniform for the entire series, stuck somewhere between “sidelined with a back injury” and “not rushing to get back from his back injury because he was out of the rotation.” Contract Status: Free Agent.
  • Danilo Gallinari: Gallo moved to the bench in games 4 and 5 with John Collins and Clint Capela both returning to the starting lineup, but continued to struggle. He shot just 40% from the field and 27% from three, with poor defense and major indecisiveness in the waning seconds of their elimination game that resulted in Atlanta not even getting a shot up at the rim to try and extend their season. Contract Status: One year left with Atlanta for $20.5M.
  • Blake Griffin: After not playing in the first 2.5 games of Brooklyn’s sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics, Steve Nash turned to Blake out of desparation. In game 3, he brought tremendous fight and hit a couple of big threes, but was targeted relentlessly on defense, giving Jaylen Brown a revolving door to the basket. That weakness went less exploited in game 4, as Brooklyn actually won Blake’s minutes despite him going 0-3 from the field (he had 4 assists and 3 rebounds). If nothing else, Blake can be proud that he stayed ready and played extremely hard when called upon. Contract Status: Free Agent.
  • Willie Green and Garrett Temple: The Pelicans went down to the Suns in 6 high-intensity battles, with Temple ultimately only seeing 2 minutes of garbage time play. Willie Green’s team ended up having a tremendous season after a horrendous start, and while they’ll be heartbroken that it’s over, their above-.500 record since Thanksgiving, these two playoff wins, and the potential return of Zion Williamson combine to give the Pelicans real reason for optimism going forward.
  • Austin Rivers: Without taking over offensively, Rivers made his value clear in the playoffs for the second year in a row as a veteran guard who isn’t scared of big moments or matchups and will compete defensively. In Denver’s sole victory in game 4, he played 36 minutes off the bench and had 5 steals. The Nuggets won his minutes by 12 and game 4 by 5 before he was unfortunately injured early in game 5. Mike Malone would still probably prefer to have Austin on the periphery of his rotation when the team is healthy, but I’d imagine Denver will still want him back next year. Contract Status: Free Agent.
  • DeMarcus Cousins: Another guy that the Nuggets will probably look to keep for next season. Clippers fans will be well aware of Boogie’s ability to launch a one-man run, as well as his flaws with consistency and defense. For Denver, it kinda worked, because he slotted into the Jokic role to help prevent there being such a vacuum when the Nuggets rested their playmaking center. In total, Cousins was a +3 in his 57 minutes in this series. Denver needs to get their top-end talent healthy to compete with teams like the Warriors in starter minutes, but not getting run off the court when Jokic rests is a big development. Contract Status: Free Agent.
  • Jeff and JaMychal Green: Unrelated former Clipper forwards Jeff and JaMychal Green both lost favor as the series went on. Jeff started all 5 games, but saw his minutes reduced before being pressed back into heavier duty when Rivers got hurt in game 5. Green, already operating in a small bench role, played slightly less in the later games and really only had one positive performance in the series. I think Denver is probably ready to move on with their forward depth if they can. Contract Status: Jeff has a player option for $4.5M, JaMychal has one year left for $8.7M.
  • Patrick Beverley: In what some called the best series of the first round (I get it, it was exciting, but most of the excitement was created by both teams making disappointing mistakes instead of excellence vs excellence), Pat’s Minnesota Timberwolves ultimately went down to the Memphis Grizzlies despite having a double-digit lead in 5 of the 6 games–a pretty staggering stat when you think about it. They DOMINATED the series… and lost in 6. It’s clear that Beverley (who averaged 11 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds on 43/35/68 splits) is an indispensable part of the Wolves’ new found culture, but the team took on the attitude of their mercurial veteran leader in counterproductive ways as well. They probably need to pair him with a veteran leader of a calmer disposition to bring some balance to their energy and be less volatile. Contract Status: Signed a one-year, $13M extension for next season.

Stayin’ Alive

  • Malik Fitts: The former Clipper of least consequence in these playoffs, Fitts barely played for the Clippers, barely played for the Celtics this season, and didn’t see a second of court action against the Nets in their first-round sweep. He has been active though, so if any games between the Celtics and Bucks in the second round go lopsided we might see him for a couple of minutes at the end. Next Game: Sunday, 10am Pacific, ABC.
  • Serge Ibaka: Serge wound up seeing 19 total minutes in Milwaukee’s gentlemanly 5-game rout of the Chicago Bulls, almost exclusively in the fourth quarters of already-decided games. He’s on the cusp of depth minutes if the Bucks face the right combination of injuries/foul trouble and matchup requiring his presence in the frontcourt, but he had about as much to do with Milwaukee’s first round series win as Fitts did with Boston’s. Next Game: Sunday, 10am Pacific, ABC.
  • Reggie Bullock: I’m really happy for Reggie, who has been a solid pro for years and is finally getting a chance to really showcase that in the playoffs. He started all six games of Dallas’ victory over Utah, playing 254 minutes (2nd on the team) and making a big impact on both ends of the floor. He’s averaging 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals on 46/41/100 splits, and now he’ll get to measure himself against the NBA’s best team in Phoenix. Next Game: Monday, 7pm Pacific, TNT.
  • Boban Marjanovic: Boban only saw a minute of garbage time in one of Dallas’ wins in the first round, and even though there is some theoretical utility to using his size to contest mid-range jumpers and deal with Deandre Ayton, he just doesn’t appear to be in Jason Kidd’s plans. We’ll see if he gets deployed as an exciting change-of-pace if Dallas goes down in the series. Next Game: Monday, 7pm Pacific, TNT.
  • Chris Paul: I wrote last week that Chris was still adding bangers to his legacy, and, well… he still still is. In Phoenix’s closeout game against the New Orleans Pelicans, CP3 put up 33 points and 8 assists on 14-14 shooting. Fourteen makes without a miss in a closeout game. That’s just staggering. I think that the Suns will be a bit disappointed to have needed 6 games to deal with a 36-win 8-seed, but they had to adjust and compensate for Devin Booker missing three games. Now they’ll need to hope for continued health from their star guards going forward. Next Game: Monday, 7pm Pacific, TNT.
  • Landry Shamet: Pressed into duty by Booker’s injury in the middle of the Suns’ series against the Pelicans, Shamet had a really big opportunity to make an impact and earn minutes going forward… but he was replacement-level at best, failing to hit double digits in any of the games and shooting just 39% from the field and 21% from deep. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him going back to DNPs, though he’s definitely right there on the list of names that Monty Williams could call if another urgent need comes up. Next Game: Monday, 7pm Pacific, TNT.
  • Doc Rivers: I’m not gonna lie, there were some shaky moments. The Sixers went up 3-0, then lost games 4 and 5 as Rivers gave some terse public comments about his past playoff failures, before Philadelphia ultimately demolished Toronto in game 6 to end the series. It might have been different if Scottie Barnes and Fred VanVleet had been healthy for the entire series, but the Sixers have their own problem: an orbital fracture suffered by Joel Embiid late in game 6 that will leave him out indefinitely–in all likelihood costing him at least weeks of action. That injury should give Doc a pretty free pass on heavy criticism in the 2nd round, and could even open the door for him to build some credibility back if the Sixers can find some plucky wins without their MVP candidate. Next Game: Monday, 4:30pm Pacific, TNT.
  • Tobias Harris: Tobi was really, really good for the Sixers in the first round, and they’re going to need him to keep providing a consistent offensive punch if they want to hang with the Heat in the second round. He put up 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists on 52/43/88 splits against Toronto while frequently handling the Pascal Siakam matchup on the other end. With Embiid out, the Sixers may even look to Tobias for small ball center minutes at times, though he’ll likely spend a lot of his series battling PJ Tucker and Jimmy Butler. Next Game: Monday, 4:30pm Pacific, TNT.
  • DeAndre Jordan: DJ made 1 appearance in the first round for 0 seconds in game 3–I think he literally checked in for extra size on the lane for a FT rebound, and then subbed out immediately when the FT was made and no rebound ws needed. Now, he’s probably in line to start for the Sixers in the second round against Bam Adebayo. Philly’s other realistic: Paul Reed, Paul Millsap, or small with Tobias Harris/Georges Niang. It’s not an inspiring slate. I’ll be interested to see how Doc balances giving those different lineups a look and reacting to what does and doesn’t work as the series goes forward. DeAndre does have a wealth of experience with 57 playoff starts… but his last second of on-court postseason action came in the Clippers’ 2017 game 7 loss to the Jazz. Next Game: Monday, 4:30pm Pacific, TNT.

FCIT2022NBAPOs (Former Clippers In The 2022 NBA Playoffs) Power Rankings:

(Subjectively ranked based on a combination of how they’re doing so far, how big of a role they’re playing, their likelihood of having an impact going forward, and how excited I’d be to see them get opportunities. Players who have been eliminated stay on the rankings but won’t be able to do more to influence their status. Players still playing have a chance to pass them, but could also drop if they don’t get–or make the most of–hypothetical future opportunities.)

  1. Chris Paul (Last Week: 1)
  2. Tobias Harris (LW: 2)
  3. Reggie Bullock (LW: 3)
  4. Doc Rivers (coach) (LW: 4)
  5. Willie Green (coach) (LW: 5)
  6. Patrick Beverley (LW: 6)
  7. Austin Rivers (LW: 7)
  8. DeMarcus Cousins (LW: 9)
  9. Danilo Gallinari (LW: 8)
  10. DeAndre Jordan (LW: 15)
  11. Blake Griffin (LW: 16)
  12. Landry Shamet (LW: 11)
  13. Jeff Green (LW: 10)
  14. JaMychal Green (LW: 12)
  15. Serge Ibaka (LW: 13)
  16. Boban Marjanovic (LW: 17)
  17. Malik Fitts (LW: 18)
  18. Lou Williams (LW: 14)
  19. Garrett Temple (LW: 19)

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Lucas Hann

Lucas Hann

Lucas has covered the Clippers since 2011, and has been credentialed by the team since 2014. He co-founded 213Hoops with Robert Flom in January 2020.  He is a graduate of Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA and St. John's University in Queens, NY.  He earned his MA in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University.

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