You’ve probably seen the meme where Spider-Man points at himself. If I could pick one picture to encapsulate where the Clippers currently stand, that’s my choice. Following a brutal game seven loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Clippers are in a position where they can only blame themselves.

But, first and foremost, I want to acknowledge Michael Malone and the rest of the Denver Nuggets players and coaching staff. Coming back from a 3-1 deficit twice in the same postseason is a feat accomplished by no one in NBA history. All credit goes to Denver, but we have to remember that Denver can’t achieve this if L.A. had closed them out earlier in the series.

Game 5

After the Clippers defeated the Nuggets 96-85 in game four, both teams began the first quarter of game five pretty tight. In the second quarter, the Clippers started to pull away. Lou Williams made baskets inside the arc and Landry Shamet and JaMychal Green hit some key triples off the bench to provide the starters with critical help.

An and-1 from Marcus Morris Sr. saw the lead extend to 56-40, which would be the largest lead held by the Clippers. L.A. went into the second half with a twelve-point cushion, but the Nuggets made the necessary adjustments to make a run. Denver didn’t take over right away, but following crucial baskets from Paul Millsap, who arguably turned in his best game of the bubble, Denver set themselves up to make an all-or-nothing run in the fourth.

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray needed to step up on the scoring end, and needless to say, they rose to the occasion. The one-two game between Jokic and Murray clicked at the right time, and Denver flipped the score to take a six-point lead with five minutes remaining. Kawhi Leonard hit some big threes and earned trips to the free-throw line to slow the game down, but the game fell in the hands of Michael Porter Jr., who drilled the biggest shot of the game. Denver outscored L.A. 38-25 in the final 12 minutes.

The Clippers sat on a 16-point lead but watched it slowly evaporate as Denver outplayed them on both ends of the game to force game six.

Game 6

This game gave the Clippers a second chance of closing the series out, and the Clippers started the first half strong yet again. A dominant 16-2 stretch to end the second quarter was exactly what the doctor ordered, but the Clippers were too stubborn to take the medication. Despite Paul George and Leonard taking over the end of the second and setting themselves up to finish Denver off, they allowed Denver to take advantage of their poor tactics on both ends of the court.

After scoring 34 points in the first quarter, the Clippers managed just 35 points in the entire second half. Sixteen of those came in the third quarter when Denver made their huge run to trail by just two to enter the fourth. George took responsibility for 10 of those points, but he didn’t receive any help and Denver hunted the Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams mismatches to burn the Clippers on defense.

A similar theme from game five appears in this one: if you fail to keep your foot on the pedal, you’ll be passed up. You can’t offer a team like Denver the chance to see light, otherwise, they’ll climb out of the dark hole and bury you instead. Once Denver regained momentum, they grasped it with both hands and rode it to victory.

George and Leonard couldn’t carry the load themselves, whereas Jokic and Murray, though doing their jobs efficiently, were supported by Monte Morris, Gary Harris, and others who stepped up because of the momentum switch. The Clippers ended up being the team who lost by double-digits and did the one thing they couldn’t afford to do: go to game seven.

The uncertainty of a game with colossal implications is one the Clippers couldn’t afford to participate in, yet their own mishaps led them tumbling into a game where momentum didn’t favor them.

Game 7

Just like the last two games, both teams kept the score tight, except Denver didn’t allow L.A. to go on a run to end the first half. The Clippers maintained the edge, but the storyline of blowing a significant lead wouldn’t materialize on post-game headlines.

However, the Clippers’ inability to score in the second half did. L.A. only managed 33 points in the second half of a win-or-go-home game. Whichever way you put it, that’s inexcusable. Fifteen of those came in the fourth quarter, where the Clippers showed zero fight; they were ready to go home. It was a relatively low-scoring quarter, but Murray and Jokic opened the floodgates just enough to drown their desiccated opponents.

Obviously, it didn’t do the Clippers any favors that their two stars shot a combined 10-38 from the floor. That’s 26% in a semifinal closeout game; there’s no justifying that type of performance. The two notably scored zero points in the fourth quarter. It’s also why L.A. couldn’t let game seven occur. You never know if the worst-case scenario for your team would happen in the biggest game of the season, but you don’t have to ponder those thoughts if you closed out responsibly.

And if Harrell is your leading scorer after 48 minutes, something went drastically wrong. Denver didn’t completely suffocate L.A. on defense either, because L.A. had open looks. But, you saw George clanking an open corner three off the side of the backboard, which made up one of his nine missed triples from the game. Again, you need to avoid game seven if you can prevent it.

Other Factors

In-game decisions made by Doc Rivers played a massive role in L.A’s downfall as well. Giving Harrell numerous minutes when Ivica Zubac and Green were much better players/matchups definitely cost L.A. points. Harrell’s inability to be a defender at any decent level saw Jokic and company torch Harrell. This stat certainly supports the eye test:

Patrick Beverley fouling out early in game six played a large part, too, as L.A. lost his versatility on both ends and needed to play Williams more often. Beverley quietly turned in arguably the best performance from a Clipper in game seven, but it’s going to be swept under the rug now due to the loss.

Landry Shamet quietly disappeared and couldn’t help offensively either. Shamet’s best asset couldn’t be weaponized efficiently against Denver, as he shot 4-18 (22%) from deep in the series. He played limited minutes in game seven due to injury, but it’s hard to imagine him making a positive impact anyway.

Mike Malone, to put simply, out-coached his counterpart. When Harrell and Williams shared the floor, Denver attacked L.A. with pick-and-rolls, resulting in open looks. Because Lou Williams struggled often and Beverley dealt with foul trouble, Reggie Jackson saw minutes too, which certainly didn’t help the defense any. If Leonard and George couldn’t score, Rivers didn’t have a reliable third option, yet he kept insisting that Harrell and Williams would solve those issues. It might’ve worked in the regular season, but the bench duo was unsurprisingly exposed when it mattered most.

The Clippers are now 0-8 all-time when they’re about to clinch a conference finals berth, fittingly ranking them first in that category, per Elias Sports. Just like their blown 3-1 lead in 2015, the blame falls on the entire Los Angeles Clippers organization. With the expectations coming into the season, the lasting effects of this loss could be incalculable.

213Hoops is an independently owned and operated L.A. Clippers blog by Clippers fans, for Clippers fans. If you enjoy our content, please consider subscribing to our Patreon. Subscriptions start at $1 a month and support from readers like you goes a long way towards helping us keep 213Hoops sustainable, growing, and thriving.

Sanjesh Singh

Sanjesh Singh

Studying journalism at CSULB. Writer and Instagram Manager for The Kings Herald covering the Sacramento Kings. Featured Columnist for 213 Hoops covering the Los Angeles Clippers. Follow me on Twitter @TheSanjeshSingh

97 Comments

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    We have 1 more year. 1 more year to show that the last 2-3 years weren’t a complete waste of everyone’s time. The organization, and we as fans sold our souls for a championship. I know the team wasn’t a contender w/ Blake, and in retrospect I applaud the FO for making the tough decision to trade him – it did get us SGA, and Bobi/Tobi after all, but they’re ALL gone now, and it was SUPPOSED TO BE ALL for this season…..where we were eliminated after in the 2nd round, after going up 3-1. Again.

    We put up w/ a shitty rebranded logo, we put up w/ losing our homegrown players, we put up w/ trading away our future, we put up w/ shitty quality games (and, surprise, surprise, a lot of blown leads) in the name of load management, and we even put up w/ some unlikable players (e.g. PG13, Bev at times, definitely MM), all in the name of a championship. And we lost that bet, at least in year 1.

    If Ballmer and the FO think running it back w/ Doc and most of the same roster next year is good enough, then honestly next season will probably be the first Clipper season in 25ish years of fandom that I don’t pay attention. This one stings, guys.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      We’re in the same boat on that last point. I view this offseason as a referendum on my fandom. If they bring Doc back after this, I’m done with the Clippers until he’s not the coach anymore. And I’m not just saying this lightly, I’ve been a fan since the Sports Arena era. There’s only so much of this you can take before it becomes a waste of time and energy. Doc has single-handedly taken what should have been the golden ages of the Clippers (Lob City and Kawhi/PG) and made it impossible to enjoy either of them.

      Ballmer and West are smart guys. They should realize how much of a disaster next season is going to be without major changes. To be fair, even with major changes, they’ll still be a laughingstock until they win a championship now. But without major changes, it will be even worse AND you’re not giving fans any reason to stay invested. Let’s hope they make the right decisions.

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      I’m in a similar mindset. I was really angry and disgusted last night, but today I just feel and sense of apathy, like this team isn’t even worth my time or energy. For the first time ever in 30 years as a fan of this team I kind of feel like I don’t really LIKE the Clippers. ANY OF THEM.

      1) Kawhi – HIGHLY overrated. I feel like the flukey Toronto playoff run (lucky bounces, the weak Eastern Conference, and then a crippled GSW) created this mythical media narrative of Kawhi as one of the best players in the NBA. Heck I even bought into it hook line and sinker. But what we saw during this season and especially last night is that Kawhi is not some kind of savior who can carry a team on his back to the promised land, and really he has several glaring flaws in his game that were on clear display last night. Plus he isn’t a leader at all that makes those around him better and inspires his team to reach new heights. Comparing him to someone like LeBron or even Luka or Jokic for that matter is a flat out joke.

      2) PG13 – soft and lacks any killer instinct. When the pressure is on or the going gets tough he folds like a cheap suit. That’s just who he is an will never change. He has the physical gifts but not the mental toughness needed to be a top 10 player.

      3) Doc – EVEN more overrated than Kawhi. Doc is to the Clippers what Mark Jackson was to GSW. A lousy coach that can’t maximize the talent that he is gifted. This is especially glaring in the post season, when opposing coaches are scheming and making adjustments to neutralize our talent advantages and maximize their won, Doc has shown time and time again that he is overmatched, and outsmarted by just about every other coach in the NBA. His in game management ranges from awful to horrifically bad in terms of his rotations and timeout usage. His teams lack an offensive system and are this prone to wild variations and long period of scoring droughts. And one thing I noticed all season is that Clippers rarely if ever get easy baskets. Hardly any cutting resulting in easy open layups, but lots of contested jumpers and contested iso drives. During the regular season Doc relies on talent advantage to carry the team night to night, but the minute opposing coaches have time to game plan against us we are helpless because Doc is outmatched. He will NEVER ever take a modern NBA team to a championship, so as long as Clippers are saddled with him expect more playoff underachievement.

      4) Lou – A selfish player who cares more about his rap music buddies and strip clubs than hunkering down and giving his all to be ready for a championship run. Another sign of his selfishness is his one dimensional interest in putting up scoring numbers and getting 6MOY awards as opposed to playing solid defense as a role player and helping a team get a chip. A 6 man option on an average team that will give you some nice highlight reels from time to time, but a fatally flawed player on a team trying to go deep in the playoffs.

      5) Trez – Flaming garbage and pretty much single handedly (with Doc’s enabling) derailed this team playoff run. Too small, can’t defend, ultra-low BBall IQ, no outside shot, selfish player offensively and defensively. Fine coming off the bench for a mediocre team, but an absolute train wreck in playoffs. Mike Malone had to be licking his chops every time Trez was in the game. He should send Doc a really nice thank you note.

      6) Mook – Meh. He had his moments, was generally solid as a stretch big. Absolutely could be a starting 4 on a championship team in terms of skillset. But his tough bad buy antics put the team at a disadvantage several time and he was unfortunately the catalyst for the Game 5 turning point that set this whole epic collapse in motion.

      7) Shamet – Disappointing. Mostly one-dimension in terms of catch and shoot 3’s and can’t do much else, so he’s too easy to defend. Plus his defense is terrible. And playing him as an undersized small forward doesn’t work. He likely has some of the best trade value of any Clipper so we should try and use him to as a key piece to facilitate a major trade to overhaul this roster.

      8) Bev – while l love Bev’s hustle and heart I also note that he is very one-dimensional in terms of mainly defensive contribution and the ability to hit catch and shoot 3’s when left wide open. But that’s pretty much it as he can’t run the offense and isn’t a playmaker facilitator and also has trouble at times with being overly aggressive and getting into foul trouble. That pretty tough for someone who is supposed to be the starting point guard on a championship contender. I think he would be a solid backup PG of the bench.

      9) JMike – solid backup 4. Hustles, plays hard, can space the floor, rebound, and defend.

      10) Zu – Shows potential for sure. Solid rebounder, sets good screens, and gives some solid rim protection, but still rough around the edges especially on offense and really prone to getting into foul trouble at the worst possible times and needs to really work on his conditioning. A project on a sweet deal, and would make a fantastic backup center, but not quite sure he’s ready to be a starter on team that has a chance to win it all.

      13) The rest – Not really worth mentioning. All pretty much expendable as trade pieces.

      As a whole a pretty uninspiring bunch, and not sure how we got so overhyped and crowned as champions before the season started. If next year is just a run it back the same year I’ll be watching alot less (if any) Clipper bball. It’s been a real roller coaster of emotion from last Summer until now but as it stands I’m feeling pretty burned out and apathetic out on all things Clipper related and this team already feels more stale than Lob City ever did.

      • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

        @Shep: “KL he has several glaring flaws in his game”

        Such as?

        • Avatar jbugs says:

          He has tunnel vision on offense. The dude got much better at passing, but it doesn’t come as organically to him as some of the brilliant passers in the game.

          He could also shoot the 3 ball better.

          Everything else is perfect.

          • Avatar wwshep says:

            Yep. Spot on. The passing and playmaking is nowhere near elite, and doesn’t shoot well very from deep or at least is quite inconsistent from deep. On nights when his jumper isn’t falling he’s pretty rough to watch.

          • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

            I think if anything, this team is perfectly built to run the triangle offense if we aren’t going to get a traditional point guard to facilitate and run the offense. We just don’t have enough playmakers and natural passers on the team.

          • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

            I think that’s where this team is flawed in that Kawhi needs a ball-handler that can set him up and help get him into spots. Kawhi had Kyle Lowry and Tony Parker as his point guards for his career until this year and although they can score, they’re also above average facilitators that can set him up. One of my criticisms of the offense was that Kawhi would just dribble the ball most of the clock during the second half to put up heavily contested shots and you could see that he was getting tired since all his shots were falling short in game 7. They did a much better job in the first half at having Kawhi get the ball on the move, which I think makes him more dangerous.

  • Avatar Justin Moore says:

    Just thinking about this team disgusts me. Like ugh.

  • Avatar jbugs says:

    I mentioned before the game yesterday that this wouldn’t be the worst outcome. Now that I’ve gotten a chance to think it through, it’s probably the 2nd to best outcome (second only to winning a championship and it could end up being better than that). The Clippers still have the best owner in basketball and one of the best front offices as well. Every move this FO has made has been really sharp and has moved the franchise closer to sustainable championship contention, all with the exception of 1 move: the PG trade.

    As we discussed ad nauseam here, the FO had no choice in that trade. It was do that trade or miss out on Leonard. Their hand was forced. After this insanely disappointing failure that was this season, the FO should have free reign to make necessary moves to fix the roster we have (which isn’t completely broken). Leonard must have clarity at this point that PG wasn’t the guy and while none of us can know what he’s thinking, it’s almost clear he wants to be in LA. The FO has a year to make WHATEVER moves they want to prove to Leonard they know what they are doing and that his future is in good hands. He needs to realize they will build him the best team. They have a year to do that. And we’ve seen what this FO could do in a year (think about the CP S&T and the Blake trade in year 1 following lob city; think about the toby, shamet, zubac trade deadline last year in yr 2 post lob city).

    Similar to how the FO had no choice when it came to the PG trade, they also had no choice when it came to Doc being the coach (not that Rivers didn’t deserve to be the coach after the job he did last year, but you could argue he should have lost his job after the lob city meltdowns; either way, I don’t feel to strongly on whether or not he should have been head coach until this point). Doc was necessary in maintain a stable locker room post lob city. And he did that. He carried the culture all the way through the signing of leonard. He did his job. After this season, it needs to be as clear as daylight to ballmer that Doc is not the guy to lead the future of the team. It’s clear to anyone who follows basketball. Most importantly, it’s got to be clear to Leonard. Everyone should be aligned at this point that Doc should no longer be the coach.

    Now that we have the best owner in the game, one of the best FOs in the game and one of the best 2-way versatile players in the game (only age 29), all of whom are in absolute alignment that what we have really isn’t working, there could be a path to a better future. With Ballmer writing checks, the FO making moves, and Leonard letting the FO make moves, we should be on a path to building a team that will actually contend for a championship (and one that I think will win one) for multiple consecutive year. Here’s what I think that path will look like:

    1. Re-sign the whole roster. Barring a super star demanding a trade this off season, I think our best path this summer is keep it together. PG, Trez, and Lou have their values at relative lows. Logic would dictate that we should probably not trade them at this point and should probably not let trez walk at this point (there isn’t a ton of money this offseason and trez likely knocked several million dollars off his contract with his lethargic playoff performance). Let’s keep/re-sign these guys. Let’s keep it together and rehabilitate their value so that we could trade them closer to the deadline when there is likely going to be more opportunity than there is at the moment (barring any changes in the league landscape). Let’s also make sure to keep JMG (b/c he is awesome and should continue to be a part of our core) and Morris (b/c he will likely have trade value down the line).

    Clippers need to maintain the image of “we are a great team, that just had a melt down due to X, Y, Z (fill in the blank for whatever bs excuses the clippers will make)”. Say whatever you need to keep this team together. There aren’t any big moves to make this offseason. The moves will be at the deadline, when there are more pieces in the market (maybe a disgruntled Giannis, who knows?) and when our guys have more value (Lou, Morris and Trez will have much higher value at the deadline that they do today).

    2. By the deadline, everyone should be on the chopping block with the exception of Zubac and Leonard. Leonard for obvious reasons and Zubac, for the following reasons: 1) he’s young and is good enough to line up with any “win now” window you want to project 2) he’s getting better every year, 3) he’s actually got chemistry with leonard and 4) his deal is the perfect price and length for what we are trying to achieve. Zu stays. Anybody else with value can go. Nobody else has real chemistry with Leonard and that’s what we need to win (see 3 for why I don’t think a coaching change is a possibility for fixing our chemistry issues). We need to trade for young high IQ players. I don’t care about what position they play. They need to be able to defend, pass and rebound (3 things that Lou and Trez failed to do and ended up breaking us and 3 things that Gallo and SGA did in spades last year). The scoring will come once those 3 things are improved.

    3. I think Doc needs to be the coach for at least one more year. I imagine the FO has made the decision already that Doc needs to go. The question is when is the right time to make the change. I don’t think it can be now. Firing doc now would be the ultimate panic move (unless there is a compelling coach out there, which I don’t believe there is, (Dantoni would not solve the issues)). Doc is essential to accomplishing #1 above. The clippers need to push stability. They need to bring guys back so that they could build up assets again. This is Doc’s strength. Firing doc would only solidify the bad feelings from this post season and that’s the opposite of what this team needs to do. This FO has proven to be patient over the few year. Patience is what’s necessary right now. I think the earliest we could consider firing doc is next summer when we have a commitment from Leonard. If Leonard needs, Doc will be necessary to pick up the pieces and rebuild. If Leonard stays, we could let Doc go and find a coach that will hopefully be able actually win us some series.

    Either way, the future for the team is bright, in my opinion. This season was disappointing, but necessary. A better coach and a deeper playoff run would have covered up the flaws in this roster that are very real. A better roster would have covered for Doc’s flaws as a coach. The colliding of these two abysmal factors resulted in a catastrophic meltdown, but will also result in the future of this team being completely aligned, for the first time ever.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      “Firing doc would only solidify the bad feelings from this post season”

      No it wouldn’t. Keeping him would. It’s going to be impossible for players or fans to ever go into any playoff series with any confidence or optimism as long as he’s still here. He has more blown 3-1 leads, more blown playoff series leads in general, more Game 7 losses, and a worse winning percentage in potential series-clinching games than any other coach in NBA history. How much more do you need to see?

      “The clippers need to push stability.”

      Doc has had seven seasons of “stability,” and not only has he accomplished nothing, he has now reversed any progress the Clippers have made in gaining any respect as a franchise. Giving him an eighth season would be a waste of everyone’s time.

      “A better roster would have covered for Doc’s flaws as a coach.”

      You homers said this after Lob City, the front office gave him a better roster this year, and he still failed. The only thing that’s ever covered for his flaws is the combination of a ridiculously stacked team with a Warriors-esque talent disparity over the rest of the league, a weak Eastern Conference, an era of basketball where he could still get away with running stagnant isoball, and Thibs as his assistant coach. It took all the stars aligning for him to barely win one ring.

      Instead of trying to cover Doc’s flaws, why not try to find a less flawed coach? Seems like the simpler and better solution to me.

    • Avatar John Maclean says:

      I agree with most everything here except I think we could switch coaches with the support of Kawhi—who’s personal trainer (and thus a close friend of his) was absolutely eviscerating Doc on Twitter throughout this series. Elevating Lue to HC would preserve the stability while at the same time getting someone with a younger perspective at the helm. Unless Trez is a locker room cancer then I would keep him too. For all their playoff woes a team still needs rotation guys that bring regular season wins and they are great for that. We all saw this coming if we’re honest with ourselves. All the injuries and lack of cohesion. “The Clippers are the best team on paper but do they have the cohesion?” Turns out the experts were right. This is a 50+ win team that can hone its chemistry and do nothing but get better. We lost to an excellent, deep, young and well coached team that was ready to take the next step in their evolution. The 3-1 deficit was an illusion because they were exhausted in game one and basically threw it and we got pretty lucky in game three. In retrospect this should have been Nuggets in 5 or 6 games. Remember that “next season” starts in about 8–12 weeks so it won’t be an eternity of agony waiting for the reboot.

      • Avatar jbugs says:

        Trez really doesn’t add this much to this team in any playoff series. I’d much rather have a center who could defend even if he can’t do the PnR.

          • Avatar jbugs says:

            Ibaka would be great if we could find the right point guard. We could probably sign him too if we did a double D&T with trez. Without someone who could move the ball though, Ibaka would be somewhat useless. He can’t defend the paint so much and he is a worse offensive player than trez if he has to create on his own.

          • Avatar jbugs says:

            Trez for Ibaka, PG/Lou for Jrue holiday and Ingram? prolly too early to start speculating bs trades.

    • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

      @jbugs: xlnt analysis

  • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

    ESPN tweeted earlier today that the Clippers are the only team in the NBA with a losing record in series they’ve led by 2 games. Sounds about right.

    If the Clippers think they can run this back with minimal changes and keep fans invested, they’re delusional. Nobody is going to stick around for nothing but historic playoff meltdowns every time we have a good team.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    ■■■■■■■■■■■■
    Chris Haynes @ Yahoo! Sports:Doc Rivers will remain Clippers head coach next season

    The two stars — Leonard and George — are under contract for one more year, and then they each have player options for the 2021-22 season. Rivers is rightfully being criticized for his lack of adjustments in the series, but discourse on his job status is premature at the moment. Playing for Rivers was a major component in Leonard joining the Clippers. Rivers will be running it back next season, sources said.

    ■■■■■■■■■■■■

    LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO😂😂😂 This organization… lol

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      Oh well, looks like I’m done being a Clippers fan for the foreseeable future. At least I won’t care about the next playoff meltdown.

      This organization is clueless and has no respect for its fans.

      • Avatar jbugs says:

        Just be patient! Doc has a purpose. Keeping the players happy and building up assets is essential to getting the right team. There are far worse coaches than doc. Who do you want?

        • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

          With all due respect, STFU. I’ve been a fan since the Sports Arena era. I’ve been more than patient. I’m not watching any more seasons get squandered by the worst coach in pro sports. Why would I ever stay invested in a team that clearly doesn’t care about winning?

          Enjoy watching Doc waste another season of Kawhi and PG’s primes and pretending he isn’t the problem. The rest of us are done watching a coach who will never get it done in the playoffs.

          • Avatar jbugs says:

            I’ve been a fan since the sports arena days as well. If you can’t appreciate how far the franchise has come since then, and if you can’t appreciate where we are now/going forward, why be a fan at all? The coaching situation could be a lot worse. We weren’t as close as you think we were. This roster had basic flaws that were exacerbated by a coach who wouldn’t experiment enough to fix them. That doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. The FO could fix this by the trade deadline. The PG trade tide them up. They are just getting starting.

          • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

            How far the franchise has come? They still haven’t gotten any further than the second round of the playoffs and they never will with Doc.

            If you appreciate historic playoff meltdowns and no meaningful playoff success to make up for them, good for you. I don’t, and I’m not watching season 8 of the same tired show. Most lifelong fans feel the same way.

            It literally does not matter what the front office does with the roster, it will always be wasted on the worst coach in pro sports. No roster will ever be good enough for Doc to win with. Don’t be surprised when the playoffs arrive and the team gets embarrassed once again.

        • Avatar chogokin says:

          I appreciate the optimism. I really do. However, we’ve bashed our heads against the Doc wall for years now and we’re literally back where we started w/ yet another 3-1 blown lead in the 2nd round.

          We all know what his strengths are: good at media-relations, good at recruiting players, good at drawing up out-of-timeout plays, good at inspiring young teams to overachieve, fiercely loyal to his guys.

          And we’re acutely aware of his glaring weaknesses: that fierce loyalty often turns into extreme favoritism for certain players combined w/ extremely short leashes for others, he’s slow to call timeouts to stop runs, and he’s slow to make necessary adjustments both between games and within individual games.

          It’s not that Doc is a bad coach (e.g. just ask the Bulls what a bad coach looks like), but for a team w/ championship aspirations, he just simply isn’t good enough. I don’t know if a guy like Kenny Atkinson would be better, but there’s A LOT of room between Doc, Jim Boylen (i.e. the bottom of the barrell), and Carlisle/Popovich/Stevens/Nurse (i.e. the cream of the crop), and I assume the FO understands this.

          It’s too early for me to think about who specifically I’d want to replace Doc (I need more time away from basketball), but what I do know right now is that I don’t want to watch him on the Clips sidelines making the same mistakes over and over again, and I have no faith that he’s going to change.

          • Avatar sjake says:

            Very very well said. I agree 100%. That said, I think you keep Doc in the organization in some capacity, if he wants. The dude has value, he just can’t be the HC anymore. The Clippers organization is so all in right now it’s ridiculous, I have no doubts the FO (without Doc) is scheming about what went wrong and how they are going to fix it. Silver lining….Ballmer is a double down dude. You bet your ass he’s pissed/frustrated and is going to do everything to sway things in his favor. My dark day was Sunday’s loss. That was pisser. If a team beats you 4/7, they are the better team. Denver is just better than the Clippers right now. I have faith the Clippers will come back as a better team next season.

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

            Best summary of Doc’s pluses/minuses I’ve seen anywhere. Kawhi wanted to play for him. Kawhi didn’t suddenly turn into trash, contrary to what some are saying in this thread. The failure wasn’t on him, it was systemic. I have confidence that Ballmer and the all-world FO, who are just a little more analytical than angry fans currently deep in their cups, will fix this situation.

      • Avatar wwshep says:

        Same… It feels actually kind of a relief to be freed from the bonds or rooting for this bad joke of a team.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    Chris Haynes @ Yahoo! Sports:
    Harrell responded with something along the lines of, “You’re always right. Nobody can tell you nothing,” and expletives were uttered from both players, sources said. George eventually toned down his rhetoric, but a heated Harrell wasn’t having it. Teammates began clapping on the sideline, in part to disguise what was going on and in an attempt to defuse the situation. The incident deescalated shortly after as coach Doc Rivers took his seat to go over the game plan.

    ■■■■■■■■■■■■

    Can we get rid of this locker room cancer already? This undersized non-stretch ball hog center seriously hurt this team.

  • Avatar Mario Molina says:

    So the coach took a big risk by thinking this team is talented enough to figure out how to play together in a few games. It showed that the talent of the players could get big leads in games by playing iso ball, but offensively this team never played as a team. That’s why they went cold, relied to much on jump shots and iso ball. Team chemistry lack of a true point guard not sure why the offense didn’t flow. Doc has to realize he can’t just put together a team without practicing together. I honestly think a lot of this load management crap put Doc in a bad spot. Sometimes you have to step up as a coach and hold players accountable. Yes you are a good player but you can’t take half the season off and just expect to figure it out in the playoffs. 1 more year to make it work. Hopefully this pathetic meltdown in the playoffs makes them work hard to make the effort to play together in the regular season and not just expect to win in the playoffs because of the talent they have.

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

    Link to Chris Haynes’ account of a “heated verbal exchange during a timeout” between PG and Trez in Game 2: https://sports.yahoo.com/disappointment-frustration-lack-of-chemistry-portrait-of-the-clippers-collapse-172338674.html

    Haynes: “The Clippers are arguably the most talented team from top to bottom, but their chemistry was among the worst of the bubble teams. They could never find the relaxed calm to persevere and perform.”

    Turns out lack of chemistry was a thing after all.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      Trez has a pretty big ego for someone who was the worst player on the team in the playoffs. Just saying.

      I’m inclined to side with PG here over the guy who calls himself “the modern-day Rodman” even though he’s not good at rebounding.

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

        Agree. What nonsense. Pretty sure the FO will take corrective measures.

      • Avatar chogokin says:

        Between “Modern-day Rodman” who doesn’t rebound, “Mr. 94 Feet” who fouls out of every game, and “Playoff P” who rarely shows up when it matters, we have some mighty cringe-worthy nicknames on the roster.

        And yea, George was pretty bad in the playoffs, but nowhere near as bad as Trez. Trez probably cost himself $5-10M annually and/or may have made some teams eliminate him from their FA considerations entirely with his performance since he came back to the bubble.

  • Avatar dhpat says:

    What about promoting Ty Lue as head coach? Have Doc still with the Clippers on some senior/emeritus role? I’m sure that Mr. Ballmer is going to take some time before making any major decision. He should also consult with Jerry West.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      I don’t want any of Doc’s assistants. We need a clean break from the Doc era. Not the status quo with a new name.

      • Avatar dhpat says:

        One of our members mentioned Ty Lue earlier, and it does make sense for a next generation and younger coach.
        Lue had to manage LeBron — not an easy feat to winning a title. That has to count a lot.
        I doubt if Mr. Ballmer is going to make any rash sudden decisions, but giving Doc a way to save face — good for everyone.
        Not President of Basketball operations — Lawrence Frank (who is one of Docs guys) is doing a great job.
        Even with how callous Spurs Coach Pop can be, KL understands being part of a premier basketball organization.
        As JBugs wrote above, we’re in pretty good shape, with great owner, personnel and FO. Just need a new leader.

        • Avatar jbugs says:

          I don’t think it should be Ty Lue though. You give Ty Lue too much credit for managing lebron. It was more the other way around. Lebron basically hired Ty Lue to that cavs team. Ty was pretty much an assistant coach to lebron, who was running the team. Also, that team wasn’t that well coached anyway. They had an incredible run and some key breaks (draymond ball kick). Their offense wasn’t pretty. Love was wasted. It might be my favorite finals of all time, but I don’t think that cavs team was so special or that it was better than the sum of its parts (which is what we are really looking for in a coach).

          • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

            Where the fuck were Ty/Sam/Rex throughout this fiasco? You can’t tell me they were just ‘yes’ men to Doc so this is a mark on their resumes as much as Doc. Like Sam if he’s such a great coaching prospect wouldn’t shy away from yelling at Doc, “bench Trez now!” at some point?

          • Avatar jbugs says:

            @TGS I think it’s possible that they were “yes” men, but we’ll never know. Like I said above, there are also roster construction problems here so it’s possible they couldn’t figure out a compelling enough solution to convince doc it was the way to go.

    • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

      You mean like make him President of Basketball Operations?

  • Avatar Dog Rivers says:

    Disappointed to say the least.
    Doc’s gotta go! I know the early reports are that he’ll be returning but it’s time for a new voice, a new direction. Ty and Sam are mini Doc’s, I’d stay away from them as well. I think Chauncey Billups is the perfect candidate to be the next head coach. He’s been a Champion as player and was a leader of that team and knows how to win. When he won in Detroit, their roster was similar to this current roster. I understand why Doc will be back given the timeline of KL/PG contracts and I do see him taking over the Brooklyn position when the Nash experiment fails in 2 years.
    The roster needs a shakeup.
    -Pat Bev should not be a starter and he’s too expensive to be coming off the bench. Trade him. D.Rose is the perfect fit IMO and I thought they should have pursued him and the other Morris twin at the deadline, instead of what eventually turned out to be Mook and Reggie.
    -sign Ibaka
    -Green is most likely leaving for more money, deservedly so

    I think the Clippers fumbling the #13 pick factored into this season/series. Swap MPJ instead of Shai in that deal for PG and we’re a much better team.
    What a disappointing season.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    As long as you have Lou Williams, you can’t win championship.
    Everybody attacks him and he can’t defend at all.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      Lou can absolutely help a team win a ring – it just depends on the rest of the guys out there w/ him and the scheme. Let’s not pretend like Monte Morris or Fred Van Vleet are any better on defense – they just have better roster balance and better coaches.

  • Avatar dhpat says:

    We need more time for this Clippers team to be together — one year is not enough to build cohesiveness, chemistry or that glue. You cannot manufacture grit or character. I would like to see the core players work together in the offseason. We have to cram.
    Denver is a really good team, but they were pretty good for several years, but due to injury, youth and some bad luck, they really underperformed. We underestimated them, but sometimes, you need to go through the pain of learning (and some failure) until you can win. (GS and LeBron didn’t win right away).
    Not taking away from our problems, Denver is really hitting its stride. As a basketball fan, we may be seeing a next generation of a Warriors level team. (I hate the Warriors (and their fans), but they did put together an amazing core, got lucky with Steph’s ankles, drafted really well (Klay and Dray) and got Iggy to sign as a FA).
    I really hope that Denver can beat the Lakers.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      One year isn’t enough to build chemistry/cohesiveness, that’s true. However, it doesn’t matter how much time you’ve had together when you out-and-out QUIT. There’s just no way around it. The team quit after going up 19, 16, and 12 in Games 5-7, and that’s a common characteristic of Doc-coached teams – they get full of themselves, stop playing, and can’t or won’t start it up again.

      For what it’s worth, I hope that the Nuggets destroy the Lakers, but given that they’re probably dead tired, I’m expecting Lakers in 5.

  • Avatar dhpat says:

    I don’t think that this team quit (Lob City certainly did), instead, they panicked and stopped playing team basketball. Denver played team basketball. Being part of a team, going through losses and learning from those losses, that is not something to be dismissed.
    OT, where the hell is Matt the Pirate?

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    If breaking it up means getting rid of Doc and trading PG for Embid, Simmons, Giannis, etc. then I’m on board.

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