Growing up watching LA sports, there are certain things you learn; Dodgers are competitive, but can never get past that one team (St. Louis, Giants, Mets, Phillies), the Lakers will always hit the game winner to bring another parade to downtown Los Angeles and the Clippers will always defy the odds and lose it all.
Its that time of the year again; Playoff basketball. That time of the year, that the Los Angeles Clippers, give their fans the faintest glimmer of hope, only to have it snatched away.
In the matter of 12 hours, Â The ClippersÂ were leading a series 2-1 overÂ an undermanned Trailblazer squad, they saw their greatest foe lose the MVP of the league to injury. Clipper fans silently rejoiced,Â will this be their chance?
Local talk radio lead the charge with talks of the possibilities and later, major sports outlets were announcing the time-table that Steph Curry, the reining MVP was facing. The Clippers were the next to face them, would they have a shot to make it out of the second round of the playoffs?
Flash forward to Game four in Portland: Clippers lead the series 2-1 and could use a win on the road, looking ahead to the short-handed Warriors. With six minutes remaining in the third quarter, Clippers down by three, Chris Paul takes a swipe at the ball in the hands of Gerald Henderson. At first, it looked like a heads up play, he got the ball and took it up court, but as play went on, be grabbed at his injured hand and one could see, something wasn’t right.
As Chris Paul was pulled to the locker room, news broke about the fracture in his hand. It didn’t stop their, on the TNT broadcast of the game, they showed numerous angles of Blake Griffin, flexing and inspecting his left leg (where he had a quad injury earlier in the season.)
The Clippers now stare down the path of the playoffs without their two best players and top scorers. They played competitively tonight at home against a surging Portland team, but how much fight can the team have left? They’re now faced to look this Blazers team dead in the eye. A team fortified with offense from the guard position in Lillard and McCollum. a Team lead by the runner up for Coach of the year, Terry Stotts.
So what is a Clipper fan to do? Do they spend another off-season saying “there’s always next year,” or telling their friends how unlucky the team was? after all, they are stacking up against some huge odds here in the final days of this season.
Doc seemed pretty optimistic during practice yesterday, saying that among other things, they will be competitive. the GM/Coach sounded confident when speaking with reporters prior to tonights loss.