Sunday, May 17, 2015
EDITOR'S NOTES-Corey Rockafeler NBA RAW -CLIPPERS -HOW WILL THEY RESPOND?
The Clippers choked! You can try to spin it, re-frame it, and then spew out feel good character-building niceties. The unvarnished truth remains-Clippers melted like ice cream on a hot July day. Up 3 games to 2, playing in your building, with a chance to define your post-crazy uncle Donald Sterling era by making the conference finals for the first time in your 45-year history, and what happens? You are outscored 40 to 15 in the 4th quarter, brick 16 of the 22 shots you hoist up, oh and then you are out-rebounded for the game by 16. Not to pile it on, but you are not beaten in the 4th quarter by near-MVP and offensive flopper extraordinaire, James Harden, you get beat( no disrespect gents) by Corey Brewer and Josh Smith? Are these are your father's Clippers? A team exemplified by abject incompetence for nearly a quarter century- chronically bad talent decisions( yep Michael Olowokandi with the first overall pick in the 1998 draft over Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, and Paul Pierce), parsimonious ownership unwilling to pay players, a coaching revolving door, and of course the litany of Sterling's racial transgressions( that other owners conveniently ignored).
The moment of truth is here. Doc Rivers, CP3, Blake, and DeAndre will have to come up BIG in a defining game 7 on a hostile court against the invigorated Harden and Howard-led Rockets. If not, a tsunami of pivotal questions will need answers. Should Doc Rivers be coach and GM? Does Jordan-who has already expressed an interest in the Dallas Mavericks leave as an unrestricted free agent? Will the Clips find a young 3 and D stud wing to replace Matt Barnes? Then add a 2-guard with size , and lets not forget the anemic bench. Success can forestall the inevitable but so long.
Doc Rivers may have changed the culture, but we are now speaking of an unprecedented collapse. Only 7 teams in NBA history have come back from 3 to 1 deficits. That includes the Olajuwon-led Rockets in 1995 when the beat the Phoenix Suns on their way to their second straight ring. We will, know the results ladies and gentlemen in a few hours. Otherwise it will a very long and hot summer in L.A.
Posted by NBARAW at 8:23 AM