Coming into the season, the Clippers already had their identity from the 2019 campaign: a bunch of guys who were gritty, underlooked, and had to “get it out the mud.” The arrival of two superstars (Kawhi Leonard and Paul George) were key to the potential on-court success of the team, but their identities and personalities were a bit different. They were relatively quiet and to themselves. They wouldn’t be entering the Clippers locker room as the vocal leaders. The three remaining players from the 2017 Houston Rockets trade (Pat Beverley, Lou Williams, and Montrezl Harrell) came into this season as the longest tenured Clippers and the leaders of the team; their voices would hold the most weight. At large, the Clippers would become a representation of these personalities, which would end up being part of their failure. There just wasn’t much unified leadership.

IMMATURITY

Lou Williams was excused from the NBA bubble during July in order to deal with a family matter. While every other non-excused NBA player was forced to remain in the bubble and stay isolated from friends and family, a photo surfaced online of Lou Williams alongside rapper Jack Harlow inside of an establishment called Magic City, an Atlanta strip club. No matter how Lou tried to paint his picture of the situation, it didn’t sit well with the world, and certainly didn’t sit well with the NBA. Lou was summoned to seven days of additional quarantine upon his return to the bubble, causing him to miss seeding games and miss opportunities to form more continuity with the rest of the team.

Similar to Lou, Trez too missed a lot of time in the bubble as he was excused to be with his late grandmother during her final days. He returned just in time for the playoffs. As the playoffs got rolling, Trez found himself at the center of controversy. People were upset and were calling for the NBA to take action against Trez, who was caught having a racially-controversial exchange with Dallas Mavericks star player Luka Doncic. As he was already struggling on the court to regain form, this added attention certainly didn’t help the situation.

Outside of this fanbase, perhaps no Clipper is disliked more than our very own Patrick Beverley. His on-court tenacity and ability to be a gritty, get-under-the-skin kind of competitor has always rubbed people the wrong way, but we all know how important that type of presence is to any team that is serious about winning. However, the focus rapidly began to shift away from the basketball court as the season returned. The most noteworthy situation occurred at a players meeting in the Orlando bubble, as players met with NBA representatives to discuss the future of their season after more racial injustices in the world had left them stuck on how to use their platform. In that meeting, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported that NBA players called out Pat for his multiple counts of disrespect towards NBAPA Executive Director Michele Roberts, claiming that Pat said, “I pay your salary,” amongst other things when disagreeing with Roberts as she attempted to speak on salary complications. While a fair amount of players also pushed back on this depiction of Pat, something definitely happened that upset people. Honestly, we won’t ever know what exactly was said during the meeting, but things like this are not favorable from the outside looking in.

RESPECT THE JOURNEY

Clippers fans can agree that this season was mostly unenjoyable despite the strong results (at least until the second round). I concur with the popular explanation for this lack of joy being that we fans aren’t used to having to cheer for a team with such high expectation and pressure. But how come Lakers and Bucks fans had so much fun? There’s something to be said about teams who go out and compete night-in and night-out throughout the majority of the 82 regular season games, and STILL find a way to translate it to the postseason.

The Clippers were pretty banged up all year and they went out of their way to be extremely cautious with health, and rightfully so. However, it sometimes caused them to lose games. What was largely overlooked throughout the season by myself and likely others, though, is just how little respect this team seemed to show to its opponents. This team rarely showed up and competed for the full 48 minutes: they got by on talent alone, and they ignored the importance of cohesiveness. At the end of the day, this was an overly-confident group who went about the process in the wrong way.

RESPECT YOUR OPPONENT

Being around basketball my whole life, I’ve always been cognizant of the code of respect. Even if the code isn’t always written, it’s common sense. The Clippers’ players were a bit disrespectful throughout the season, and karma had its way of handling the situation.

Occasion #1: Dame Lillard vs The Clippers

During the waning moments of an August seeding game between the Trailblazers and the Clippers, Damian Lillard came up short on two late free-throws and a late three-point attempt. This resulted in Patrick Beverly, Marcus Morris, and Lou Williams losing their minds in disbelief; they visibly taunted and laughed at Lillard from the bench. I didn’t have as much of a problem with it as others did; it’s basketball, trash-talk happens. But things escalated quickly after the game as the involved players went back-and-forth over social media. Pat made a “Cancun on 3” reference to Lillard after Lillard had mentioned sending Pat and Paul George home in the playoffs once before in buzzer-beating fashion. PG responded with “and you getting sent home this year.” Things took a left turn when families got involved, though eventually there was truce. Of course, now that the Clippers have bowed out in only a way that only the Clippers could do, the dramatic episode of “NBA Beef” has returned to the internet and will be here to stay until the next Clippers vs Blazers game.

Occasion #2: Clippers vs the On/Off Switch

While I hate to give Kendrick Perkins more attention than he deserves, the longer the season went on the more I couldn’t stop thinking about his tweet that read, “The Clippers only get up to play the Lakers.” As I write this today, I can’t say that Perkins’ tweet is totally true, being that he has had a public distaste for the Clippers all season long for no apparent reason, but he might not be too far off. And seeing exactly how this roster was put together, it does seem that they were gearing specifically for how to deal with the Lakers, ignoring many other NBA teams and disregarding what those teams brought to the table. Simply put, this team thought they were good enough to flip the switch when the time called for it. Sadly, they couldn’t.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON CLIPPERS’ FAILURE

My problem with the 2019-2020 Clippers team is that there was too much noise; mostly for the wrong reasons. All of the clapping-back with the media was annoying, even if it was warranted at times. While a few of these guys had moments during the playoffs, most of the players really didn’t live up to the hype surrounding them. Their attention always seemed to be everywhere but the basketball court, being distracted by the attention and criticisms that came with high expectations. In other words, this team of “Dogs” had a bunch of bark without a lot of bite. I’m going to walk away from this season as a frustrated fan, but optimistic that this humility serves as a wake-up call to the organization. With just one more season under contract for both Kawhi and PG, time is of the essence. Hopefully the 2021 Clippers come back with a different approach, and different results.

112 Comments

  • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

    “ Clippers fans can agree that this season was mostly unenjoyable despite the strong results (at least until the second round). I concur with the popular explanation for this lack of joy being that we fans aren’t used to having to cheer for a team with such high expectation and pressure. But how come Lakers and Bucks fans had so much fun? There’s something to be said about teams who go out and compete night-in and night-out throughout the majority of the 82 regular season games, and STILL find a way to translate it to the postseason.”

    Pretty much this.

    • Avatar Cole Huff says:

      The approach has to be different next season

      • Avatar dhpat says:

        To this new approach, with next season starting on Dec. 1, 2020, there isn’t much time to prepare. After some vacation, the returning core Clipper players and coaches have to run an extended 4-week camp in Los Angeles. If they start 1st week of Oct., there is less than 2-months of prep time. It isn’t that difficult to put in the detailed practice time and put in basic offensive sets. Not just last season with various injuries and load management, the NBA season doesn’t allow for much practice time.

        • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

          We don’t need basic offensive sets. I was watching something from BballBreakdown on Youtube and he mentioned something about HORNS sets being a little outdated. I think this team just needs to run a motion offense. A lot of their sets were Pistol actions that every other team runs and is easy to sniff out. Part of it is being able to better integrate Shamet and utilize more floppy sets to get him shots or at least to use as some misdirection as the precursor to some other set. The starters, for the most part seem to have plenty of IQ to run a more sophisticated offense. If I was Doc, I would spend this time and see how Pop/Nurse and Vogel/Donovan utilized Kawhi and PG respectively on their prior teams to get them easier shots. and then build an offense out of that.

    • Avatar Thretch says:

      I agree – and it felt odd to me being a fan of a frontrunner. As a long time Clipper fan I just don’t know what that’s like … until this year and I didn’t enjoy it. It feels like when we win, it’s “well, that’s what’s supposed to happen” or “we’re that was almost a disaster”, and then every loss is crushing. There’s no joy. How do other fans enjoy this? I guess I need to learn …… but not this year (sigh).

      • Avatar chogokin says:

        Being a (theoretical) contender wasn’t the main culprit for my hating our games this season – it was the lack of effort. Like I get load managing Kawhi and PG13 on some nights due to their injury risks, and I’m all for that. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the team who is actually playing gets to just loaf. How many games did we see this past season where the guys came out and just flat our laid an egg against lesser competition? Yea, teams like the Hawks or the Wizards aren’t in the same stratosphere talent-wise, but they’re still NBA players and you gotta show them a basic level of *respect.*

        The fact that I see “grit over glamour” commercials all the time on TV these days just pisses me off even more. Our team this season treated games as if we were defending our 3rd championship, and blew an unimaginable number of leads as a result. I hope that next season the team can get back to a “challenger” mentality (preferably under a new HC), because until we actually win something, that’s all we are.

  • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

    What pisses me off even more than this failure of a season is this:

    I have never seen a team more ridiculed and despised by the media, current/former players, and all other fanbases in the league than this year’s Clippers. Not even the Heat got it this bad after the 2011 Finals. And the ridicule has only just gotten started. The name “Clippers” has already become synonymous with choking in the NBA, just like Clemson used to be in college football before Dabo turned them around.

    Long story short: I find it hard to believe that Ballmer and the front office aren’t aware of this. And yet they’re STILL apparently intent on running the same failed team back again for another miserable season. They’re perfectly fine with being the punchline of the NBA and they don’t seem to care about the fans.

    The more I think about this season, the more I believe that simply firing Doc isn’t enough. Of course we need to make a coaching change no matter what, but I also feel like this team is just toxic. The only players who should stay longterm are Zu, Mann, Shamet and Kabengele. The rest of this team can get traded or go elsewhere in free agency. It sounds like an overreaction, but I’m not on board with another season of being the most hated team in NBA history and not at least getting a ring out of it. I want the Clippers to build a real team like this year’s Heat or Nuggets that the rest of the league can respect.

    • Avatar Cole Huff says:

      You want to get rid of the two best players on the team that we traded our entire future for?

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      As a fan, I don’t give af about what the media thinks of my team. The only question in my mind is whether or not I like my team. Ultimately, I like Patrick Beverley, even though I think he needs to cut out the off-the-court shenanigans, and cut down on the stupid fouls 94 ft away from the basket. I don’t like watching Trez at this point (the Luka incident was a horrible look for him, and he does too much preening and yelling after dunking on bench guys and doesn’t exert enough consistent effort off the ball and on defense), I’m ambivalent about Lou (lemon pepper excursion was a *bad* look, and his playoff performance was somehow even worse) and MM (he needs to stop provoking dudes needlessly), and I don’t like watching PG13 whenever there’s a *tiny* bit of adversity mixed in (I think he might benefit from seeing a sports psychiatrist or something in the offseason). Other than that, I love me some Kawhi (even after that Game 7 debacle), Zu, Shamet (we need a coach who actually draws up plays for him), JMG, Mann, Coffey, and Kabengele.

      TLDR; don’t let Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, and other talking blowhards change how you feel about the team. Like who you wanna like, and hate who you wanna hate.

    • Avatar Taiji Miyagawa says:

      Mann yes. Sham and Kabengele, why? Sham cannot make shots and had the “choker look” all over his face after game 6. Kabengele shows NO interest in ever becoming a defender. I like Coffrey.

      I like the overall thrust of this piece. I think the Clippers are a deeply flawed team, personnel-wise, but more importantly, character-wise. The leadership of a championship team can’t come from players who cannot perform when it counts (most notably Lou and Trez, who punked out). The reality was exposed by both the Mavs without Porzingis and the vastly superior team, the Nuggets. Neither Kawhi, as great of a player he is, nor PG, with his own on-the-court inconsistencies are the leaders on the level of an LBJ or even Jimmy Butler.

      The bench never showed up, and Doc wasted the depth, sticking mechanically to rotations that were repeatedly proven to not work.

      Perhaps the best thing of this year was that Doc Rivers was exposed. He is not a top-tier coach and his track record in the Playoffs stands with little competition (the only coach to blow 3-1 leads three times, EIGHT Game 7 losses). Question is, will Ballmer do the right thing?

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

        Excellent comment with many good points made. Kawhi is not by nature a leader. He is an incandescent individual performer, but not superhuman. He needs a good system within which to operate, and Doc never provided anything resembling that. Doc has failed the Clippers. Ballmer and the front office have to be considering all options, from coaching staff to roster. However, as others have noted, there is little time to implement wholesale changes between now and December 1.

  • Avatar Oodypkt says:

    Learned a hard lesson, but we need to re-group and move on.
    Wonder how we can re-insert the underdog/team first mentality into this team.
    Play hard and play as a team, that’s all we need.
    Next season will be interesting.
    If you have a passionate owner like Ballmer, a group of smart FO led by West & Frank, it’s hard to believe we can’t improve.
    Let’s see what we can do.

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

      “If you have a passionate owner like Ballmer, a group of smart FO led by West & Frank, it’s hard to believe we can’t improve.” My thoughts exactly. I’ve heard Ballmer and Frank and other front office people speak in person and they’re brilliant and have a vision for this team. I highly doubt that they’ll blow the whole thing up after all the effort they’ve put into this. The Clippers fell short this time for reasons that I believe will be addressed.

  • Avatar Thretch says:

    Great article Cole – nailed it. Thanks.

  • Avatar cliptakular says:

    2 reasons why I think Perkins hate the Clippers:

    #1 He dislikes Doc.

    #2 He’s still salty about being dunked on by Blake.

  • Avatar dhpat says:

    As much as the media and Laker fans want to pile on us, it isn’t that bad. Nobody died, nobody got injured (except our egos, but we’re Clipper fans with Teflon egos or just Nuts in the Head). It is not that bad. We’ll put this train wreck back together and figure out a good solution. First, we’ve got a really smart and rich owner in Steve Ballmer, who loves basketball as much as we do. Second, we still have KL and PG; KL, PG and the rest of the team are human. Do you remember how LeBron couldn’t address the media after his loss in the first Finals? He figured it out, so will we. Third, Doc has to change or be forced to change. His old ways is not going to work. I do not believe that Mr. Ballmer is going to allow his team to just redo the same. He sat through that embarrassing meltdown against the Rockets in 2015, and he watched this dumpster fire again. He is not going to let Doc do the same. He respects Doc, but he is going to make changes. If Doc is not going to change, I won’t be surprised if he is relieved of his coaching responsibilities, quietly and professionally.
    Finally, yeah, it is a pretty shitty situation, but we’re going to be OK. We’re a damn good organization, and we should be proud of being Clipper fans. Don’t listen to the crap in the world. Be positive.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      “First, we’ve got a really smart and rich owner in Steve Ballmer, who loves basketball as much as we do.”

      The decision to keep Doc makes me seriously doubt Ballmer’s basketball acumen and passion for winning. If he cared, he wouldn’t run it back with the same coach who’s embarrassed the franchise so many times already.

      “Second, we still have KL and PG”

      Still being stuck with Playoff P isn’t a good thing. He’s a fake star and not someone you can ever seriously win with.

      “Third, Doc has to change or be forced to change.”

      Really? Who’s going to force Doc to change? He’ll never be held accountable for anything, so why would he change?

      “He sat through that embarrassing meltdown against the Rockets in 2015”

      And did nothing about it. Why exactly should we trust Ballmer to do the right thing now when he already failed back then?

      • Avatar dhpat says:

        All good counter points. We have to make do with what we have. Next season starts on Dec. 1. LouWill mentioned that they have to get back to work with this limited time. Without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, we should try to pick up our pieces and fix what went wrong.
        We still have a good chance of putting our team back on track, but every returning player and coach has to be honest and be willing to change and adapt for the team good. Whether they will or can do this — that’s what we’re going to find out.
        Our Clippers will figure it out.

        • Avatar Thretch says:

          “every returning player has to adapt to change”. I agree, but we need someone to initiate that change. I don’t see Doc as that person.

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

          “Without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, we should try to pick up our pieces and fix what went wrong.” Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is never a good idea.

      • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

        As much as I want to see Doc gone, looking at the reality of the situation, like some others have said. If this were a normal year where there would be 4 to 5 months between the end of the season to the start of the next season, finding a replacement coach would be easier and the team could spend more time on the search as well as address roster needs and the draft. With only 2 and a half months, until the start of the 2020-21 season, that won’t be enough time to find a new coach (interviews and decision-making to hire).

        • Avatar chogokin says:

          There’s no way the season is starting on time in December 2020. I expect at least January or February 2021 before next season actually begins.

      • Avatar osamu6238 says:

        I am still a PG believer. I don’t know if he was injured or what, but he was slow in the playoffs. I don’t think he had a single dunk in the NBA restart, which is just odd.

        There are only maybe 10 guys in the league I would trade him for straight up.

        • Avatar chogokin says:

          He was mentally/psychologically injured. Remember when everyone said that PG13 was “finally fully healthy” before the restart? The time off should’ve helped everyone get rested and healed. Dude just had a lot of demons in his head for the playoffs.

          I agree there aren’t many players I’d trade him for straight up, but I’m sure there are some packages I’d be happy with (I’m not sure at this moment, but that’s what the offseason is for). Really though, I’d be fine w/ mostly running it back, as long as Doc and Trez are gone.

        • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

          PG did not have a poor series vs Denver, IMO. He had a poor game 7 (so did everyone). For the series, he wasn’t perfect (especially w/ foul trouble) but he was probably the best Clipper–including being dominant on both ends in game 3, which was the pivotal game that set the Clippers up to take the 3-1 lead that they shouldn’t have blown.

          PG wasn’t perfect, Lou/Pat/Landry are all solid contributors who have flaws. You don’t move any of them just for the sake of moving them–you need to upgrade the roster or else you get rid of an important piece. Trez is an addition by subtraction case.

  • Avatar dhpat says:

    Team Leader — we need one. My wife pointed out that KL’s old team, the Raptors, have Kyle Lowery, who has grown into being a true leader. I don’t know if KL wants to take this role; I don’t know if Lou has the makeup to be the leader. This lack of team leadership has to be addressed.

  • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

    Hearing the reports of the Celtics’ locker room drama has oddly made me even more furious at this team.

    The Celtics choked in Clipperesque fashion last night and they were so angry and ashamed with themselves, they were screaming and throwing stuff around the locker room. In contrast, our sorry-ass team didn’t get mad at all about choking. They kept spouting empty cliches like “we’re still in the driver’s seat” and “make shots, get stops” en route to a blown 3-1 lead. No heart, no pride. And to put the cherry on top of the shit sundae, this team is rewarding the chokejob by bringing the same terrible coach and failed roster back to do it all over again next season.

    Really not hard to see why the Celtics have 17 rings and the Clippers have 0 conference finals appearances. One franchise cares deeply about winning, the other is satisfied with fake regular season “success.”

  • Avatar Robert Dailey says:

    Too many people wrongly believe major personnel changes are needed. No, this team is loaded. I believe the only significant changes should be, first, gracefully dismissing Rivers, and second, letting Trez walk in free agency.

    Re-sign Morris and Jamychal, and pick-up a backup center in free agency. Maybe also nab a back-up ballhandling and defensive guard, because there might be the opportunity to flip Lou and his expiring contract for a draft asset. I believe Lou really let his team down with his out of the bubble excursion. The extended quarantine seemingly assured he would not be himself in the playoffs.

    I strongly believe Rivers and poor attitude were the primary culprits here. I think there is a good chance the humbling experience in the bubble could solve the attitude problem. Firing Rivers may seem to many people as a bridge too far, but it seems warranted. In my non-professional opinion, he did not do his job this year (failing to instill team discipline and an offensive system). If that were not bad enough, his coaching record establishes him as a “play-not-to-lose” guy, which never seems to work in the playoffs.

    I believe Ballmer/Frank/West are likely to figure it out.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      I believe major roster changes are needed not because of any concerns about talent, but because of the unprecedented amount of scrutiny this team will face if we run it back. This team is mentally weak, let’s face it. I would be shocked if they didn’t completely melt down next season like the 2001-02 Bucks or the 2015-16 Rockets. Then Kawhi and Playoff P will walk for nothing in the offseason and we’ll be screwed for the next decade.

      It’s better to get out in front of this mess and start the rebuild now while we can still get assets in return.

      • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

        Freestyle: Mental weakness and scrutiny? Who cares about scrutiny, gotta tune that out. And how does a mentally weak team go up 3-1 on the Nugs? Your Rx for moving forward is way off base IMO.

        The main PO takeaway for this team is humility. They got knocked down a peg and will take this experience as a humbling opportunity to show what they’ve learned.

        • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

          “And how does a mentally weak team go up 3-1 on the Nugs?”

          You’re leaving out the part where they blew it in historic fashion. A mentally strong team would have closed it out in Game 5 with no drama.

          • Avatar Taiji Miyagawa says:

            They couldn’t even put up a fight in Game 7, they were choking from Game 5-7. The stats don’t lie and you could see it in their eyes. It was embarrassing. The core emotional flaw is not an easy fix, and worries me about the prospects for recovery in 2021.

      • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

        @ Freestyle: Major roster changes out of irrationality based off rash frustration isn’t helpful, especially when this offseason is as short as it is. We’re more or less stuck with PG and Kawhi. If you want to trade either, you are basically asking for the same issues as this past season (especially in the pandemic where mental health and other non-basketball issues are more prevalent and burdensome). We can only tinker around the edges roster wise to ensure continuity at least with the core. The only major roster shakeup would be letting Trez go in free agency and maybe trading Lou. At this point, I would rather keep Lou because he is still more valuable to the Clippers than Trez is.

        • Avatar chogokin says:

          I’d MUCH rather keep Lou over Trez. At this point I don’t even want Trez on the team. I’m really hoping a younger, up-and-coming team (hello, Charlotte) is willing to SnT for Trez – Trez looks like he wants a bigger role on the team, and with his skillset there’s just no way to justify that on the Clippers.

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

      Agree with all of this.

    • Avatar Sweet Lou says:

      I strongly agree with this comment. very on point.

      Doc is an historical coach… when it comes to blow out a 3-1 series. It’s inexcusable – and don’t get me wrong he was fine at game 7 but as a whole. I’m positive we need something else. Doc is not going to get you where you want.
      I’m sick and tired the media keep on closing their eyes on Doc – it’s so hypocritical – call it what it is – a one hell of a epic failure.

    • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

      RD: “I believe Ballmer/Frank/West are likely to figure it out.”

      Undoubtedly, they have their biggest challenge yet and I think they’re up for it. Even JBugs, our resident GM in waiting, would likely agree. Removing Rivers gracefully and then figuring out his replacement mite be the toughest. But, you know, once it gets done, the team and new coach will move forward and Doc, and his failings, will fade.

    • Avatar Cole Huff says:

      I like the way you think. I don’t believe this team needs an overhaul by any means.

      They were really good, especially the starting 5. This team fell apart every time the bench came into the game. Outside of Jmyke there were absolutely no positives on the bench, and most of the guys were undersized and couldn’t defend. Hell, they actually couldn’t score either during these playoffs.

      It would be in this teams best interest to pick up veteran players that have size and are multifaceted enough to not be liabilities.

      This off-season will be interesting.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      Agree with all of that.

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

    In reply to R. Dailey.

  • Avatar John Maclean says:

    The most glaring weakness to me was that we had a very young center and an undersized center trying to cope with the best center in the league. Secondly, in today’s NBA you really need a multidimensional point guard who can not only facilitate but attack themselves from most anywhere on the court—most significantly the deep three ball. I thought perhaps we could get around this because we would get enough turnovers and transition points to offset it. But when guys like Murray and Lilliard etc get going it’s just demoralizing when it can’t be matched. Kawhi and PGs skill sets overlap. So do Dame and CJs. Portland has been coveting a quality wing for many years now so I wonder if a PG for CJ swap could be engineered? Would make both teams better IMO.

  • Avatar Robert Dailey says:

    McCollum for PG?

    Stop drinking, Stop smoking. Stop doing mind altering substances.

  • Avatar osamu6238 says:

    I think a lot of teams are going to look at this 2020 season as such an odd season, there is very little you can take from it. How different would the season have gone if there was never a stoppage? How would the Clips have faired in the playoffs if they had Game 7 at home? I don’t think anyone can answer these questions, so I think when it comes to roster shake up, it’s going to be minor.

    What I expect is for them to bring back JMG and Morris, but I wouldn’t blame either of them if they decide to walk. I keep imagining JMG playing center for the Rockets for some reason, but they don’t have any capspace. I think if they can, they’ll also try and keep Trez on like a big 1 year deal, but I think I think they want to keep their flexibility to try and add a 3rd star with the 2021 FA class. If they can find a decent trade for Lou/Trez in the middle of the year, I think they’ll explore their options to upgrade. This FO is not in the buisness of letting quality players go for nothing in return, so I expect almost everyone back on the roster next year.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      This is gonna sound harsh, but if I were JMG, I wouldn’t want to play for Doc anymore because he insists on playing Trez over him. I realize it’s all about the team, and JMG should be more concerned with team success than individual numbers, but the TEAM IS BETTER with him in there compared to Trez. Why would he even want to come back?

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      “How would the Clips have faired in the playoffs if they had Game 7 at home?”

      Doc has lost more home Game 7s than any other coach in NBA history, so it would have gone the exact same way. Only real difference is that the team probably would have been booed.

      • Avatar osamu6238 says:

        is that really a stat? I thought I heard most game 7 losses overall, so I guess probably some of those might’ve been at home?

        I think if you just think on the surface about who was missing home court more, you’d have to assume Denver would be the one that would be missing having the altitude advantage for their home games. But the Clips had the best home record in the entire western conference, so I don’t think you can overlook how well the Clips played at home all season, and really based on regular season record, could’ve been hurt the worst without playing on their home court in the playoffs.

  • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

    I think we may have stumbled into a real identity -Bad Boys 2.0. Harness all the ridicule and hate and ride with the black and white as our colors. Forget all the “streetlights over spotlights” BS marketing as it always felt contrived. Feeds the little brother narrative and to me encapsulated the friction of a once scrappy team now reconciling its contender status. We should remember that Trez, Lou and Bev were assets acquired for PG and while Doc has done a good job maximizing their talents in the regular season, I fought Larry and Jerry if given a blank slate would envision these three as some of our top guys and emotional leaders. Now’s the chance to wipe that slate clean in some respects starting with shipping out Trez.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      I mean, I think New Orleans probably does, but Holiday is one of a few guys who I think I would do just about anything to get on to this team

    • Avatar osamu6238 says:

      Jrue would be an ideal target, and I think someone that will likely get moved. But I think Pels can do better than that.

      I think Jrue will be on a potentially expiring contract, so if he comes out and makes it clear where he will sign long term, might limit the destinations he can go to, but still not sure if the Clips have enough to get it done without any first round picks. Fi, Mann, and/or Shamet are the only young guys the Clips can include. Might be a deal here where you resign Trez and have to add him for salary matching at the deadline, but Pels I think are a salary team, where if they wanted Trez they could probably sign him in the offseason.

  • Avatar osamu6238 says:

    What strikes me watching Lakers/Nuggets, is the Clips really couldn’t score on the inside against a team with very little interior defense. They were great doing that in Game 1, but every game beyond that, I feel like they really settled for outside shots. Maybe they really were fatigued, because that’s the mark of a team going through the motions.

    I think the biggest improvement that can be made by this team is the improvement of Zu. I think he needs to take those midrange shots we’ve seen from him with confidence and look for himself more. I know last summer he was working on his 3, which would be amazing, but I don’t think they even need that yet.

    I feel like Trez is a guy that is a great regular season player, but still so one dimensional, that they get kind of exposed in the playoffs, especially against a team with any half decent center. Way too much tunnel vision from Trez this year. I give him credit for the improvements in his one-on-one game, but that’s not what this team needs.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      The Clippers should say no to that. I’m not sure Ntilikina is even better than Mann at this point. Bullock is better than he was when he was here as a rookie, but I don’t think his shooting is worth giving Lou up for.

      • Avatar wwshep says:

        Franke Smokes would provide some depth at the point and would be an upgrade in the 2nd unit on D over Lou and his matador D. Also Bullock would give us a true backup SF and that would allow Shamet to slide over to backup SG which is his true position. I like it for that reason.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      Same logic as the last one. Upgrade the 2nd unit on D. Remove Lou as a blocker to Shamet at backup SG, and get a true SF to backup Kawhi. Only problem is it doesn’t address our lack of depth at the point guard position.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      This isn’t too bad, as long as Mann is ready to step into actual rotation minutes (which I think he will be). I’d prefer this to the Ntikilina trade at least. Really though, before moving Lou, I’d like to see if the FO can SnT Trez. I would love it if the FO could sign him to like a $12-$13M deal and trade him for someone like Thaddeus Young.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    Thinking about the moves the Clippers should make in the offseason to fix the problems:

    1) Fire Doc – I know this won’t happen unless Kawhi is on board. So hopefully Kawhi comes to his senses and gets on board. But we need fresh blood in the worst way. Need a HC that will install and offensive system and doesn’t practice favoritism over analytics.

    2) Let Trez walk and use a MLE for a bakckup Center. Ibaka, Baynes, Noel, any one of them would be huge upgrade at backup C (Ibaka could maybe even start over Zu?)

    3) Trade Lou – Lou helps win some regular season games with his scoring, and that is helpful with load management. But the problem is he is hunted relentlessly on defense in the playoffs and when playoff rotations tighten up you don’t really need his scoring (because you stars are always on the floor). So he becomes a huge liability in the playoffs. Also he’s a blocker to Shamet getting minutes and developing at his true position of SG. I’d advocate trading Lou for either a Point Guard or a backup SF that can give some 3&D.

    4) Re-sign Mook and JMike – losing either would be a HUGE blow.

    5) Fill in the remaining holes with vet min players. If we don’t trade Lou for depth at PG then keep Reggie around at vet min otherwise he can go. If we don’t trade Lou for a backup SF then try and find one at vet min.

    I think with the changes above we have a decent shot at contending next year.

    One other thing that’s more of a long shot but team should explore is whether Sixers or Bucks are looking to blow it up and could we swing a PG13 for Simmons or Embid or PG13 for Giannis trade. If that were to happen then some of the moves above wound change such as what position you would spend MLE on and what you might look for as a return in a Lou trade.

  • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

    The Denver series confirmed why I thought we should’ve traded for Drummond (and not Morris) at deadline, particularly considering how low a cost Cleveland paid for him. He would’ve given Jokic so much more to contend with on both ends. As much as I love Zu (and believe he will be great moving forward) the clippers never shored up the front court and it cost them tremendously.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    I’m going to be so depressed if we just run it back with this same team next year. If we re-sign Trez I’m honestly going to boycott Clippers bball next season.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    What say you, fellow Clips fans?

    http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=y4cvm3ze

    I’d prioritize sign-and-trading Trez first, but if we’re looking for a defensive upgrade at backup PG (i.e. to free up Shamet), and for a backup G/F, I think this works out pretty well. The issue is, I don’t see the Cavs agreeing to this because neither Sexton nor Garland can guard anybody either. Sexton/Garland/Lou would be the worst defensive backcourt rotation in the entire NBA.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      I like it

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    Alternate trade proposal:

    Clips re-sign Trez to $13M/yr-3yr deal, and trade him and Lou to the Bulls for Thaddeus Young and Kris Dunn (restricted FA, so maybe the Bulls can sign him to a 2-3yr deal to match Lou’s contract).

    So the Clips lose out on some offense, but get massive upgrades to defense and toughness off the bench, and theoretically this would free up more minutes and more usage for Shamet. The Bulls get a mentor for Coby White (another shoot-first PG/SG, who should be their future), and Trez will get the bigger role it looks like he’s been craving.

    Thoughts?

  • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

    Man I can’t shake this feeling that the Clippers have some real big picture problems on their hands. The media is out for blood because they were so heavily invested in battle of LA and clippers as contenders and because Lebron and lakers are ratings/darlings. And now they’re branded as these chokers with shitty attitudes who nobody likes. And simply “running it back” will only exacerbate the issue.

    Also the nuggets are not good.

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      Eh, let Lebron win the bubble and the rest of us can move on. So much real life shit to worry about these days…

      • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

        I agree re: real life shit. But basketball is an (appreciated) distraction from it. I post/consume enough of the real shit, need to focus attention elsewhere for my own sanity. Hence this post.