What’s left to say? Montrezl Harrell and Doc Rivers continue to spot opponents victories in games the Clippers cannot afford to lose, and the Nuggets took advantage to tie the series 3-3.

The LA Clippers led the Denver Nuggets by 19 points, 68-49, with 10:10 left to play in the third quarter of game 6.

The Denver Nuggets won the game 111-98. A 62-30 close, an absolute rout. By the end, both teams had emptied their benches in garbage time.

Throughout the game, the Nuggets did a lot of things right. Nikola Jokic put up a tremendous effort in an elimination game, finishing with 34 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists on an efficient 13-22 from the field and 4-6 from deep. Jamal Murray had what might have been his most impactful game of the series, picking his spots against LAC’s pressure to finish with 21 points and 5 assists on a hyper-efficient 9-13 shooting. Murray also left the game after a collision at the rim with Paul George and clearly played through pain for much of Denver’s second-half run.

Sneaky contributions from the Nuggets’ bench kept them in the game: the never-quiet Michael Porter Jr. had 13 points and 7 rebounds, but even oft-maligned role players like Torrey Craig and Monte Morris contributed, combining for 17 points, 5 assists, 6 rebounds, and 0 turnovers on 7-11 from the field. That might feel small, but it’s huge–especially as LAC’s role players continue their uncharacteristic shooting struggles, particularly Landry Shamet who missed all three of his good looks from deep tonight and is now just 3-17 from beyond the arc in this series. The Clippers, of course, struggle to contain Jokic, but it’s particularly brutal to lose the 8 minutes where he rests and Mason Plumlee is on the court, and that happened tonight.

The Nuggets have also benefited from some luck. That’s not a critique, or an excuse, or a dismissal of all the things they do right, it’s just an analysis of the shooting data: Denver averages 35.9% from three as a team, and playing without one of their better and higher-volume shooters in Will Barton, they’re now at 44.4% and 48% in their last two comeback wins. Importantly, that includes shooting 7-9 from deep in the fourth quarter of game 5 and the fourth quarter of game 6. That efficiency is only possible because of a bunch of good stuff the Nuggets do, from staying engaged mentally to playing active defense to create looks in secondary transition to committing to their ball movement and trusting each other to find the open man. Even when you do all that stuff, shots falling at such a high rate for two straight fourth quarters requires a bit of good fortune, but the Nuggets are making their own luck.

The Clippers, too, are making their own luck. Montrezl Harrell and Doc Rivers tanked the Clippers vs the Nuggets. It’s unlucky to go cold from the field and it’s unlucky for your opponent to get hot. Basketball is a game of runs, and everyone seems to watch leads evaporate from time to time. But through a bizarre combination of flawed personnel, confusing gameplans, and indefensible lineup choices, Doc Rivers has positioned this Clippers team to be particularly vulnerable to allowing runs. The story of this game, just as much as Nikola Jokic’s great play, is Rivers once again throwing away a large lead by overplaying his unbelievably bad backup center, Montrezl Harrell.

In a first half that the Clippers won by 16, the team lost Harrell’s minutes by 4. In a second half that the Clippers lost by 29, the team lost Harrell’s minutes by 15.

Of course, that means that the Clippers also lost by a substantial margin when Trez was on the bench in the second half, which is true. But even when the team is bleeding, they bleed worse with Harrell, losing by more in the 8:30 that he was on the court than the 15:30 that he was off. This Nuggets team has proven that they are not going to quit, and for Rivers to give them a free pass for 8 minutes of the second half is inexcusable. The Clippers cannot score, defend, or rebound with Harrell on the floor: in this game, they had a 79.4 offensive rating and a 139.4 defensive rating with Trez on, compared to a 114.5 offensive rating and 101.6 defensive rating with him off. The team grabbed just 37.5% of available rebounds with him on the floor, compared to 52.5% with him off, and Harrell himself finished with just 1 rebound in 15 minutes.

It would not be so frustrating if Trez had simply had a bad game, but this has been the story of the playoffs for the Clippers. The team has a net rating of +17.6 whenever he is on the bench, and -11.4 when he is on the court, leaving him with the largest negative impact on the team by a mile. They grab 46.9% of available rebounds with him on the floor and 54% with him off. And while you constantly hunt for context in lineup data, especially when dealing with small sample sizes, Harrell’s impact is actually worse than the data suggests, not better: his best stint of the playoffs game in garbage time of game 4 vs Dallas, and the minutes where he shares the floor with the Clippers’ wing trio of Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Marcus Morris are enough to swing that lineup from a +11 net rating to a -19.6.

A lot of things happen in 48 minutes. Jokic was great, Murray fought, the Nuggets executed while the Clippers stagnated. LAC’s offense stagnated, as it did in the second half of game 5 and as it has over the course of the season. Rivers hasn’t installed much of a system and Leonard and George’s individual greatness sometimes results in strings of misses. The role players continue to shoot the ball incredibly poorly when the ball is kicked out to them, allowing Denver’s defense to collapse (LAC was 10-27 from deep tonight but 7-14 came from Kawhi and PG). Harrell’s struggles aside, Zubac has had back-to-back rough nights, failing to consistently finish inside on rolls, dump-offs, and offensive rebounds. Kawhi Leonard, for all his talent, needs to be better in closeout games. Just 25 points on 8-18 shooting isn’t enough production.

But through all of it, the game swung when Rivers opened Pandora’s box by putting Montrezl Harrell on the floor in the third quarter. Removing Zubac because he’s struggling defensively and inserting Harrell is like putting out a fire by squirting lighter fluid at it. It cost the Clippers both of the games they lost against the Dallas Mavericks, and it’s cost them two straight closeout games here against Denver. Rivers’ over-reliance on Harrell has resulted in Clippers losses against Dallas, and now the Nuggets. Rivers has now had a 3-1 lead in the second round with the Clippers twice in his tenure, and let the series slip to a game 7 both times. In 2015, the Clippers lost to the Houston Rockets.

If the Clippers lose again on Tuesday, Rivers shouldn’t be on the plane back to LA.

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.

108 Comments

  • Avatar Clipperfernald says:

    Clippers in 7. (That’s sarcasm)

  • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

    Hope everyone’s mentally prepared to lose Game 7 on an MPJ buzzer beater (probably with Lou or Reggie guarding him), because that will be the most Clippers outcome imaginable.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      I think we lose by 20… I think mentally we have to be thinking we can’t beat Denver no matter what so I expect the first time Denver punches us in the nose we fold up like a cheap suit.

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    Inexplicable. Nuggets probably applauding whenever Harrell enters the game. Maybe the simple conclusion to draw is that Denver is just the better team. Unfortunately, whichever team emerges to face the Lake show will be severely sapped from this series. Bodies being strewn around all over.

    Our guys are playing crappy, nobody can bother Jokic and Denver’s main offensive strategy seems to be to drive strong to the hoop and see what happens. More often than not, the driver gets a free ride with little resistance.

    Agree that Doc better hide out if they don’t right the ship Tuesday. Maybe Doc should ask Quin Snyder for some advice.

  • Avatar dhpat says:

    Jocic is not a good matchup for Montrezl, but we cannot simply blame him. Doc has to take responsibility if he doesn’t change the personnel lineups. Denver has all the momentum, but unlike the easily dissuaded Lob City team, the current Clippers squad and Coach Rivers will figure it out. Just don’t play Montrezl; more Zubac and JMGreen. Don’t double Jocic and keep playing that crazy chicken head cut off defense.
    I turned to my daughter in the first or second quarter after we forced a 24-second shot clock violation by Denver — see that’s how you play defense. We can do it!

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      Dude… do you really think Doc is going to make that adjustment. Where have you been throughout these playoffs?

      • Avatar dhpat says:

        Tues game should be different for both teams. I rewatched the 3rd and 4th Qs, and we just didn’t play with the same sense of urgency. Our shots were not falling, but we were not hustling like we did in the first half. Definitely, it is a bummer to give up a 16-pt. lead, but Denver knew that their season was over unless they made that push. It looked like when Jamal Murray went down with that hard fall, Denver realized that this was it. Today’s game was our similar moment, we got knocked down, and Tues., we need to come out and play our 100% effort game. Shots will fall or not, but we can get to those loose balls, offensive rebounds, 50/50 balls and get more possessions.
        Also, we stopped moving the ball and attacking the basket. Jokic (finally, I spell his name correctly) and Denver kept getting to the line.
        Good lessons to learn.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    Thank you Lucas. You laid it out perfectly. It is maddening to see Doc Rivers doing the things he’s doing. When he brought Trez in against Jokic EARLY in the 3rd quarter I was absolutely beside myself because I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt what was about to transpire. WE ALL DID. But somehow someway Doc did not.

    I pray that Steve Ballmer and the front office are competent enough and listening to the right people to make the tough the decision (only tough because Doc is popular and respected) to part ways with him. Although I suspect they will only do that if Kawhi is on board with it, so hopefully Kawhi isn’t mesmerized by the Doc aura and wants to keep him, because we can’t risk doing anything to alienate Kawhi given he’s an FA after next season.

  • Avatar Labis says:

    The lack (or unwillingness) of Docs adjustments ist just baffling to me. Milwaukee should be the prime of a higher seeded time not adjusting to challenges.

    – stop playing Trez
    – stop playing only iso ball depeding on Kawhi making tough shots
    – get Shamet going. He is the only shooter on the team. Maybe Doc can actually run some plays for once

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    7 stages of clipper grief:
    1. Denial. That just didn’t happen; they’re can’t be just giving up; Nuggets can’t hit every shot
    2. Anger. Trez should never have joined the bubble; hate Doc and hate myself for believing in this team
    3. Bargaining. There’s one last chance. I can believe again. They’ve got a good shot. Yeah, they can do it
    4. Depression. This sucks so bad cuz we were in such a nice spot. I just need to sleep it off.
    5. Acceptance. The nugs are just a better all around team and the two star studs just couldn’t push us across the finish line.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      5. Acceptance. The Nuggets starters are slightly worse than the Clipper starters, but the Clippers bench and roles players are completely shitting the bed especially Trez, and Doc is too stubborn to make adjustments. Doc is more worried about Trez’s feelings than winning, so we have yet another blown season and yet another Doc coached team not living up to it’s playoff potential. Not ever going to change as long as Doc is a Clipper. All we can hope is that Kawhi and PG don’t decide to bolt for greener pastures end of next year because as long as they stay we will at least be a playoff team (although never past the second round with Doc). But if one or both of those guys leaves we are in the NBA wasteland for at least the next 10 years since all of our future draft picks are gone out to 2026. Have a Nice Day! 🙁

      Fixed it for you.

      • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

        Doc’s Celtics teams had a much greater margin for error considering how top heavy the Eastern conference was during those years. The only teams to be feared were Cavs and Magic. Doc needs to get his act together and realize he can’t screw around like this in the West where every team is a legit good team. This isn’t the (L)Eastern conference.

  • Avatar Alan Ng says:

    I know Kawhi doesn’t say much but even he would voice his opinion against Rivers. This roster needs a shakeup, and having Trez on it isn’t gonna cut it.

    I’m sure Jerry is on Ballmer’s ear telling him, that Rivers was never the man for his vision.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      Problem is Doc ain’t gone unless Kawhi is on board with it. And I thought Doc was a big reason Kawhi came to the Clippers. So, we might be stuck with Doc unless and until we can re-sign Kawhi to a long-term deal.

      • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

        Kawhi will leave if we don’t win it all next season. And we already know we won’t even get past the second round with Doc. This shouldn’t even be a hard decision.

        If Kawhi wants to sulk about the worst coach in the NBA finally getting fired five years later than he should have been, then we can just trade him for picks and start rebuilding as far as I’m concerned. We absolutely can’t run it back with minimal changes after a failure like this.

  • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

    One key adjustment the Clippers could make in the second half (aside from limiting/not playing Trez) is to keep the energy flowing on their offense. Get into their offensive sets faster after Denver makes instead of just slowing the ball up the court and going against a set Denver defense. Also, drive more to the basket and force the refs to make the calls to get freethrows. By slowing the ball down on offense against a set Denver defense, the offense gets stagnant and there is too much isolation which draws multiple Nuggets defender to converge on Kawhi. Because the other three guys are out of rhythm, it leads to missed open shots because of the staleness of the offense. The team should rewatch game 5 against the Mavs and see how they kept the lead and ballooned it.

  • Avatar Garganot says:

    Pathetic showing last 2 games. No killer instinct. Embarrassing to live in LA as a clippers fan. The Clippers curse still exists.
    I thought it was gone but was wrong.
    At least there’s still that other LA team to watch after Tuesday. Coaching staff should be ashamed of themselves.
    Nightmare flash backs of Houston 3-1 choking. Totally different team, Same head Coach. Hhhmmmm coincidence?
    Balmer might not Know much about basketball, but he is not stupid. Look for Coaching change next season, if there is a next season. Boycott Doc.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      So, any predictions for the Lakers vs. Nuggets WCF? I’m thinking Lakers in 6 but it will be interesting.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      “Curses” don’t exist. This is just a perpetually mismanaged franchise. Ballmer’s blind loyalty to Doc has canceled out a lot of the good things he’s brought to the table as our owner. The improved front office, the Kawhi/PG acquisitions, etc. are all wasted on the worst coach in the NBA.

      At this point, Ballmer has to start getting some blame for the team’s continued underachievement if he doesn’t move on from Doc this offseason.

    • Avatar Glen Hasegawa says:

      Overrated Glenn definitely has to go based on basketball decisions. Problem for Ballmer is bad optics on him if he were to let Glenn go. Glenn been getting alot of national publicity in press and around the league for his outspokenness and views on social injustice. Clips firing him would seem to show lack of support for these causes. Ballmer gonna have a tough decision to make. Maybe he can redeem himself and make the decision to stay in house and hire either Lue or Cassell, they couldn’t be any worse, could they?

  • Avatar J Garcia says:

    Everything Lucas mentioned is true BUT Pat & Lou need to start being held accountable for their horrid play in the playoffs! Yes it starts with Doc’s decision making but the players need to step the fuck up & match the intensity of the Nuggets & play like their season depends on it cuz now it actually does!

    Would like to see the Kawhi & PG min staggered differently also.. That means PG needs to stop committing dumb ass fouls & the role players actually stepping up to the challenge.. Cuz so far all that depth has gotten them nothing! I sure wouldn’t mind seeing Reggie out there cuz atleast he’s the ONLY guard off the bench who’s showed that can make a fuckin shot.. + let’s not forget it was his 3s late in the 4th that helped close out Dallas when the “offense” was stagnant & making Dallas look like an elite defense, similar to what they’re doing to Denver this series

    • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

      I like the Reggie comment there JG. Shooting is kind of important when you think about it. Shamet has been a huge disappointment but I can’t help but thinking maybe covid has had some lingering effects.

      • Avatar J Garcia says:

        He’s been hit or miss all year, I’m not giving anyone a pass based on the virus! Also, I’d give Pat Pat a shot before Noah & trez going forward.. He has his limitations as well buts a bigger body & has made shots in the bubble as well..

        Is pretty damn sad that we’re even talking about our 9-12 guys though

  • Avatar Jonee says:

    So incredibly maddening. This roster always had its flaws, but it is the better team in this series. How do you let Pat Bev foul out so early in the 4th quarter? There are so many more questions, but it’s not worth asking them. Doc should be ashamed of himself. A good man and nice guy, but clueless NBA coach.

  • Avatar Robert Dailey says:

    I believe a man as smart as Ballmer and as invested as he is in the Clippers has by now figured out that Rivers’ coaching career is prominently marked by his teams repeatedly shrinking when it matters.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      So who should be our next head coach? Any ideas?

      • Avatar Alan Ng says:

        D’antoni.

        At least he brings a system in place plus he’s reached the conference finals recently.

        Or just promote with Lue and Sam. I’m sure Kawhi would sign off on it.

        • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

          Hard pass on D’Antoni. His teams always disappoint in the playoffs, his rotations are awful and he doesn’t make adjustments. Sound familiar?

          I honestly think we should bring in a coach from Europe. The coaches in the Euroleague are no-nonsense, preach discipline and tend to be good at player development and X’s and O’s.

          • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

            Forgot to add this:

            I don’t get why so many fans love the idea of promoting the next head coach from within. We’ve seen how poor Doc’s judgement is with the players, both as a GM and with his rotations. What makes us think he’s any better at picking assistant coaches?

            From what I can tell, Lue and Sam have done nothing to change Doc’s mind on the decisions that keep costing us games. Neither of them deserve a promotion when they haven’t done anything notable in their current roles.

          • Avatar wwshep says:

            Yeah we definitely need some fresh blood… I’m just not an expert on coaches out here, like who is really good and available. Hoping there might be some experts here that would know.

          • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

            “David Blatt, who coached the Cleveland Cavaliers to the N.B.A. finals in his lone full season on an N.B.A. bench, has joined the Knicks as a basketball operations consultant. The Knicks on Wednesday announced the hiring of Blatt, who played at Princeton alongside Steve Mills, their president of basketball operations.Dec 18, 2019”

  • Avatar kylethepile says:

    Ballmer manages Doc like Doc manages Trez

    • ianbaron ianbaron says:

      IF or WHEN we lose on Tuesday, Doc CANNOT be our coach anymore.

      #firedoc, #Docshit NEED to get trending.

    • Avatar jbugs says:

      Hahaha, this is a good one. Seriously, though. Ballmer could not have and should not have fired doc before this point. Doc is way too important of a figure head to have let him go prior to this post season performance. And, while I don’t know who the replacement would be, if Ballmer fired Doc and replaced him with a white coach, the optics would be disastrous.

      Another reason why Ballmer shouldn’t have fired doc until this point is to make sure the culture of this clippers team has a sense of stability to it. Any team that fires and hires coaches too quickly will have inherent volatility that makes it unattractive. Coaches need a certain amount of runway. Doc has had ups and downs (he was pretty great last year). Firing him before this season would have made the Clippers organization seem impatient. I think a loss on Tuesday would justify a change in coach.

      • Avatar kylethepile says:

        I agree with you 100%, especially with the optics of the thought experiment of a white coach replacing Doc; if your only tool is a hammer you are going to find nails everywhere you look. I’m not calling for a coaching change right now, but maybe J West and Ballmer can convince Doc to sit Trez’s ass on the pine. It seems so blatantly obvious at this point that even my canine let out a yelp as Trez entered the game on Sunday. I was trying to convey that Doc should have Trez on a MUCH shorter leash, and maybe Doc should feel some of that same pressure from upper management. Rooting for this team we all love is becoming more lassitudinous by the season, however I remain sanguine for a Game 7 victory.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    Besides the Doc/Trez lunacy, another big factor on our 2nd half collapse was Bev’s foul trouble. We REALLY need him to be smarter and not pick up silly fouls early. And when he had 5 fouls that’s not the time to try and take a charge.

    For any chance in Game 7 we need to pray that Doc comes to his senses and doesn’t play Trez against Jokic, and we have to hope that Bev, Zu, and PG stay out of foul trouble. Even then it probably comes down to make/miss and the way our role players are shooting like crap vs. Denver’s white hot role players the margin of error is razor thin.

    After these last 2 games I’m just numb at this point. I keep telling myself not to even watch the game because it’s so upsetting, but I haven’t been able to turn away (like watching a slow motion train wreck)… But I really think I need to force myself to avoid Tuesday’s game, turn off all news/social media and tune in Friday for WCF to see who Lakers are playing. If it’s the Clippers then I can be pleasantly surprised. If not then it’s pretty much what I expected and we go back to hoping for offseason changes (hopefully letting Trez walk and firing Doc).

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      OK. I muted all the Clippers social media that I follow. Going totally dark on all things Clippers until Friday. Need a break from this stress and refuse to watch another 2nd round exit. I’ll find out on Friday who is playing the Lakers.

      Best of luck to all of us long suffering Clipper fans. Peace out…

    • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

      Disagree. The only plus of this loss is gettiing to watch another game where we have a fighting chance to win; not like the Rox who had 0 chance. Talk about high pressure, Tuesday’s game will be off the charts.

      I can’t predict what if anything Doc mite change up. I just know that in the past Doc would often manage to pull a rabbit out of the hat and all was forgiven.

      Was interesting to see KL guarding Joker late. Seems like he just decided that was what he needed to do. Joker eats up everybody else. Like to see more of KL on that guy.

      Remember that we kept saying all season “if only.” If only the team could be fully intact and healthy. Now that we are, we’ve turned our collective ire on Doc/Trez.

      Is it too much to say that Tuesday’s game will be the most important Clips game ever???????????

      • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

        I wasn’t saying “if only.” This team never passed the eye test all season to me, no matter how many excuses that Doc and the fanboys come up with.

      • Avatar Alan Ng says:

        Well, duh, it’d have to be for this squad.

        Denver has been having that attitude the past 2 games. They’ll still have it on Tuesday. It’s up to the clippers to decide, do they have a strong mentally to move on or not? I’d hate to put it on the players because this is Doc’s mess but coughing up a big lead in the second half for a second time is also on the players for not being aggressive enough. Jamal Murray showed how tough he is physically through an injury plus it picks up the spirits of his entire squad as a whole.

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

        I don’t think that it’s too much to say that Tuesday’s game will be the most important Clips game ever.

  • Avatar Alan Ng says:

    I was just wondering, is there a way a player doesn’t have to come out if he’s getting substituted? Like can Zu wave off if Trez is coming in for him? Or Jamychael did the same for Trez? That would be a big FU towards Trez and doc.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    I thought about writing a more in-depth comment here, but really, there’s not much more to say that Lucas hasn’t already covered. All 5 of the Clips’ losses this postseason (2 to Dallas, 3 to Denver) have been primarily because of Doc overplaying Trez and reacting too slowly to runs. There hasn’t been a *single* victory this postseason where Trez played an important (or really even supporting) role – all of the victories in the playoffs have been *in spite* of him.

    Of course it doesn’t help that Bev keeps fouling unnecessarily (seriously, I love the effort, but dude is too important to foul out in like 15 mpg), or that Landry hasn’t found his shot, or that Zu has struggled offensively, but those are just paper cuts compared to the gaping wound with our guts hanging out that is the backup C position. I really didn’t think I’d want to see PatPat or Noah, but hell, at this point I’d settle for shifting Coffey to PF and playing JMG at C. I’d settle for *anything* as long as I don’t have to sit here and watch another Denver 12-2 run start immediately upon subbing Trez into the game. If you would’ve told me before the season started that I would’ve rather had Mason Plumlee than Trez I would’ve laughed, but now? I’d rather have Mason Plumlee than Trez. I don’t want Trez on this team next season as long as Doc is coach – even if he *could* make it work in the postseason, it’s clear this coaching staff can’t.

    It’d be one thing if the Nuggets were just unconscious from 3, or they were just playing better, but no. This situation is pretty clearly on the coaching staff being unable to put our guys in position to succeed. If the Clips lose Tuesday night, then the only reason to bring Doc back is if Kawhi and PG13 demand it – he’s been that bad so far this postseason.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      “the only reason to bring Doc back is if Kawhi and PG13 demand it”

      Even that isn’t an acceptable reason. Either they can man up and play for a real coach or get traded as far as I’m concerned.

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

      “This situation is pretty clearly on the coaching staff being unable to put our guys in position to succeed.” I’m with you.

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    Thinkin that the worst thing to happen to Trez (and the team) was his winning the 6th man award. He and Doc both felt duty bound to live up to it–Doc my overplaying him and Trez by trying to be a hero. If he had been snubbed, he would have had something to prove and given more effort–maybe.

  • Avatar John Maclean says:

    I’ve been fatalist #1 around here although wshep might be slightly more negative at times. Love that guy. Look, we do still have game 7 and so long as adjustments are made we can win. We all agree that Trez is done. The other move to make is Lou needs to be on a short leash too. Lou just looks old and small out there and while Reggie isn’t perfect he does play better D and is quicker and dare I say even more cocky. We need that right now. It’s probably too late to try the Noah experiment so we just need more JMG and MM to spell Zu. Finally, to me the clippers are trying too hard to rout the nuggets And make a “statement” rather than just win. Denver hangs around letting us punch ourselves out and then they crank their game up on us and we’re bewildered at both ends. If we come in expecting to grind it out for 4 quarters I’ll put my trust in Kawhi over their guys to close it out.

    • Avatar Alan Ng says:

      Easier said than done. Remember who controls the substitutions. The only way to avoid Trez is if he had an injury or trade him. He should’ve stayed out of the bubble.

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      If Doc really wanted to win a championship, he could easily bench Trez and play Patterson or Noah.
      But he has actually proved to the world that he doesn’t even give a shit about winning and care about Trez.

      • Avatar Alan Ng says:

        Perhaps this is what drove CP and JJ away. CP even said, “if we’re not trying to win, what are we doing?”

        If Jerry West is in Ballmer’s ear, I really hope he can persuade him to make a change. We don’t need him. Boston was able to nab Brad Stevens from college, I’m sure Jerry west has a coach in mind. Wasn’t he involved in the hiring of Steve Kerr?

    • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

      Agree J Mac. Still alive with a G7. I just wonder if our guys feel kind of demoralized blowing the last two chances and maybe don’t feel very good about themselves. Utah, tho, came out real strong on their G7 and hung in there to the very end.

    • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

      Reggie does not play better defense. His decision making is trash. Lou’s defense has been much better overall this series compared to last series. We still need Lou for his playmaking, but he’s making careless turnovers and lazy passes.

    • ianbaron ianbaron says:

      I honestly would even give Joakim Noah a look. At least have him in and defend, rebound. Trezz hasn’t done the same. If we can’t score, at least play defense so that our lead don’t get blown. It’s clearly our defense that’s holding us back.

      FIGURE THIS SHIT OUT, DOC.

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

      “wshep might be slightly more negative.” Shep’s definitely more negative. Shep is great.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    It took Doc almost 100 games to realize he can’t play Trez entire 2nd half.

    …it’s hard to expect him to change his approach at this point.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    The risk of injury increases exponentially when your idiot coach keeps wasting games over and over due to shit coaching and horrible decisions. That’s what scares me the most. Jamal Murray got hurt. He was able to play through it tho. If that happened to one of our players…… fuck Doc, fuck his stubbornness!!

  • Avatar TF12 says:

    I’m just baffled by the lack of offense in the 2nd half. They scored 10 quick points in the first two minutes of the 3rd and then 25 for the final 22 minutes of the half. I’ve got no argument for the poor lineups and decision making but for a top offense to just stop scoring is almost inexplicable.

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      Oof. This was the worst weekend of the worst year for me before the game started and now this. So many negative emotions. It was confounding that the team went cold in the second half but you could see it brewing near the end of the 1st half with Kawhi walking the ball up the court. So much is built around him getting into the paint and either scoring or making a play that we fall apart if he’s either not being aggressive or effective.

      In general, this team lacks the cohesion of truly great teams and I think it all stems from how quiet we are. You see it when we get back on defense and PG will point to someone picking up the trailer and our guy will hesitate or get confused and the defense is already back on its heels. Too many mental lapses. Not wading into the Doc/Trez cesspool.

      Kawhi is programmed to win big games so Game 7 should be where he shines and where this team changes the narrative. I hope…

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

        Agree with “this team lacks the cohesion of truly great teams and I think it all stems from how quiet we are.” They are a quiet bunch with a couple exceptions. But the most quiet of all, Kawhi, is capable of extraordinary things.

  • Avatar TF12 says:

    Also, Pat Beverley cannot foul out of a game in just 18 minutes of play. He needs to be on the floor for at least 30 minutes game 7.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    #docshit

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    >Doc Rivers: “We clearly have the right formula on how to win the game, but then we keep losing it.”

    This idiot really thinks sticking with Trez too long is the right formula to win the game.
    They keep getting outscored by opponents everytime Trez is on the floor. They keep blowing out huge lead whenever this idiod played Trez too long. NO MATTER WHO HE PLAYS AGAINST. Then it’s not the right formula.

    This idiot repeats this pattern over and over and over and over again all season long. Still has no idea why they’re losing.

  • ianbaron ianbaron says:

    If you’re Steve Ballmer, what are you thinking right now?

  • Avatar Garganot says:

    Made a comment earlier today & now went back & read everyone else’s opinions.
    It is obvious we all love basketball & most of us love this team. Being a Clippers, slippers, trippers etc. fan has never been easy. So many years getting beaten but listening to Ralf Lawler & moving on to the next game next season next decade.
    Yes it sucks when you have to turn off the TV & just walk away in the 3 rd Q because you can just tell, get the feeling, gut instinct etc. that they are gonna lose again. I have a hard time not screaming bad words at the TV, that to this date has never talked back to me. Or breaking stuff, maybe drinking or smoking too much.
    We love our Hoops, this could be the last time again for the Clippers,. An emotional rollercoaster ride we are consumed by.
    May I please suggest an idea to be entertained for a moment to all Clippers fans. If we want this team to face the Flakers (opps sorry Lakers fans) which I’m sure we all do. Watch the game Tuesday, get pumped up & do whatever it is you need to do. Send this team your energy from your room wherever you are.
    Scream at the TV , at Doc at the players at the world if you have to, but lay it all out there as fans & feel like you did your best. If we win excellent, glory, the western conference finals, the Lakers. And if not at least each & every fan did there best to support the team & can leave being the most excellent fans & look in the mirror being proud of that fact.

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      I’m proud of editors or writers here and there like Lucas Hann, Robert Flom, Justin Russo…who give us fans very interesting stats or articles. And appreciate all the things they do. It must be a tough job to write those articles, especially when things didn’t go well.

      But I can’t be proud of myself. Miserable. Whether they win or not in Game 7. That Idiot coach makes players or fans look stupid.

    • Avatar sjake says:

      hahaha…I’ll be screaming at the TV and scaring the dog for sure. I’m just hoping I’m hollering with joy and fist pumping, not cursing throwing stuff. LET’S GO CLIPPERS!!!

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

    It seems that unending pain will forever be the lot of Clippers fans.

  • Avatar John Maclean says:

    Let’s pump the brakes until after the game Tuesday. Denver is a GREAT team and these are the spoils of being the #2 seed rather than #1. The path is just so much more brutal. If we respect every possession like it’s the game winning play we’ll be fine. No more taunting, posing hero ball. Just business. I give us a slight 51-49 chance of winning game 7 and if Denver wins then it’s because they are better period. Let’s see how McGee and Howard deal with Joker. Can’t wait to see old man Rondo and journeyman Caruso “guard” Murray. What crash test dummy for the Lakers Is going to check MPJ? Losing to Denver may sting but if they’re good enough to take us down they will also torment the Lakers too.

    • Avatar John Maclean says:

      Addendum. Portland and Houston were dog shit. We’re actually playing a contender.

      • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

        I think Lakers made them look like dog shit.
        If we were the 1st seed, we would’ve needed 7 games to beat Blazers or Rockets. Blazers don’t have wing players and those tiny guards can’t guard Kawhi or George but Doc would’ve played Trez for entire 2nd half and blown out huge lead just like he’s doing in this series.

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

      Great comment. Especially “if they’re good enough to take us down they will also torment the Lakers.” I do believe Denver might also give the Lakers fits should it come to that, they’re that good. Let’s hope Clippers’ coaching improves. One game to go. “We’ll see what happens,” as my Lakers fan friend says.

      • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

        The Lakers will sweep the Nuggets, don’t kid yourself. Vogel isn’t a stubborn fool like our fraud of a coach. He will make adjustments and bench players who don’t match up well with them.

        • Avatar jbugs says:

          I agree, anyone thinking we are facing a contender is deluding themselves. Lakers made Portland and Houston look like butterflies. We made Dallas and Denver look like contenders. It’s that simple. When we came out and played hard and smart, we destroyed those teams. It’s when we play dumb and lazy that these teams look incredible.

          Dallas actually does have the makings of being an incredible team soon. We just made them look like they are closer to that point than they are.

          • Avatar wwshep says:

            We would absolutely be a contender if Doc was a competent coach. Give these players to Nick Nurse, Spolestra, Vogel, heck even Malone, and we would be destroying every team in our path. This is all Doc’s terrible rotations AND his lack of any offensive systems that causes our offense to stagnate into long stretches of hideous iso heavy stagnant muck. NOBODY has even done LESS with massive talent advantages as Doc Rivers. He has been torturing the Clipper fan base for years now and it just continues. He’ll retire after Kawhi and PG13 leave next year and leave this franchise high and dry with nothing to show and stuck in purgatory for the next decade with zero draft picks. I love this team but I HATE Doc Rivers for what he has done to us.

          • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

            Current NBA coaches I would rank above Doc right now, in no particular order:

            Pop
            Brad Stevens
            Steve Kerr
            Nick Nurse
            Erik Spoelstra
            Rick Carlisle
            Quinn Snyder

            These coaches have shown to be good at regularly making in-game adjustments and be able to motivate their teams.

    • Avatar Alan Ng says:

      Whoever said that Dwight or McGee will guard Jokic? AD is more than capable of doing that. Murray may be a problem but nuggets don’t have an answer for Lebron. This Laker team had it easy this year because there was no contender standing in their way. No Bucks. Possibly no clippers. It’s a Mickey Mouse championship. The only good news is that if the Lakers win this year, I guarantee they won’t be close to winning it next year with a return of the Warriors and Nets squad along with hungrier teams like the clippers, mavs, nuggets and blazers.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      Not better, better coached. That’s the difference.

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    Really hesitant about watching the game. Shep’s strategy has entered my psyche.

    • Avatar Justin Moore says:

      The writing is on the wall. This is over. Clippers are done.

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      I briefly thought about not tuning in, but if you’re a diehard fan you have to root for our guys ESPECIALLY in a Game 7 despite the coach and any individual player.

      • Avatar Alan Ng says:

        Of course I’m rooting on both sides. One side if they win, I root for the team.
        The other side if they lose, I root for change in head coach.

      • Avatar chogokin says:

        I’m gonna watch. I’m just not gonna enjoy it.

      • Avatar wwshep says:

        Can’t do it man, I just cannot subject myself to watching Doc bring in Trez against Jokic yet again and cause us to instantly implode yet again. It’s taking way too much of an emotional toll. That level is stress, frustration, and worst of all HELPLESSNESS (screaming “Nooooo Doc!” at the TV but Doc can’t hear and doesn’t care). That’s the worst part of all. You just have to watch it unfold knowing what is about to happen the moment Trez checks into that game. Can’t do that to myself again, No sports team allegiance is worth that kind of anguish.

        For the sake of my physical and emotional health just have to pretend the season is over and wait to tune in for Friday’s WCF to see who Lakers are playing.

  • Avatar Robert Dailey says:

    Near shocking information most may not know – Rivers’ coached teams have previously blown two separate 3-1 playoff series leads (Rivers being the only coach in NBA history to blow multiple 3-1 leads), and have lost three separate 3-2 playoff series leads:
    2003 – Magic blew 3-1 first round lead to Detroit
    2009 – Boston lost 3-2 second round lead to Orlando
    2010 – Boston lost 3-2 finals lead to Lakers
    2012 – Boston lost 3-2 second round lead to Miami
    2014 – Clippers blew 3-1 second round lead to Houston

    Now, Rivers threatens to lose another 3-1 lead (which would total three separate blown 3-1 playoff leads, while no other coach in NBA history has lost more than one blown 3-1 playoff lead).

    As I said earlier, I believe Ballmer must now be aware (if he was not previously) of River’s near shockingly poor record of playoff collapses.

    Am I correct on this? If so, seems hard to believe, especially given Rivers’ stellar reputation.

  • Avatar sjake says:

    Just thought I’d throw my $.02 on Doc. No matter what happens Tuesday. Even if we go on to win Championship. Doc should be forced to “resign gracefully” . He clearly gets stuck in a rut during these games as much as the players do. He should absolutely stay with the franchise as he’s a great recruiter and adds value, just not the HC. He’s just proven (with the Clips) to not be able to take a good team over the hump. To me the greatest travesties have always been that he allows players to complain about calls excessively(it has absolutely cost us games) and he has never installed a system to find role players open looks. At some point in every series you need to manufacture easy points. Doc’s system can be bogged down too easily.

    I personally can’t wait for Tuesday. Yes, I love the Clippers and will be pissed off if they lose, but I watch sports for the drama as well. Doesn’t get better than a game 7. If Denver wins, they were the better team, simple as that. Vice versa for Clips. The coach (and asst’s) is part of the team, not just players.

  • Avatar osamu6238 says:

    Trez has become unplayable, I don’t know just this series or the whole playoffs, but if they don’t go to the JMG backup center rotation for Game 7, I’m going to pull my hair out, literally.

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

    The Clippers were rolling before the regular season was interrupted. Then Trez took so long to join the team in Florida.
    Seems to me that Doc has been trying to reintegrate him into whatever Doc’s vision for the team is, and play him back into shape. By giving him big minutes. In this critical playoff series. With no plan B should this approach not work. Staying with plan A come hell or high water.

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