Year after year, the Clippers position themselves to contend for a championship…and year after year something goes awry. Whether it’s Donald Sterling creating a media frenzy, the team publicly adjusting to new ownership, star players punching trainers in the face, injuries, etc., there’s always something so “Clipper-like” about how tumultuous their seasons and postseasons go.
In 2016, it looks like the final storyline will close with injuries.
Just a stinger perhaps? Surely he’ll be able to come back, maybe with a brace or wrap?
Nope, broken bone. Fracture. So just like that, the Clips lose Chris Paul who elevated his regular season efficiency from 19.5 ppg and 10 assists to postseason numbers of 26.3 and 8.3 through the first three games. Most likely, he’s gone for the remainder of the postseason.
But the story didn’t end there. The NBA-gods weren’t done.
Next target, Blake Griffin. Griffin re-injured the same quad that had him sidelined for months starting back in December. While his status for Game 5 is currently 50-50 (according to Doc Rivers), it can’t be reassuring that this is a reoccurring injury to the same quad.
Without Griffin, the Clippers could potentially be missing a 23/11/4 stat line on a nightly basis in the postseason.
It’s very likely the Clippers can muster up enough resolve to make it to the second round again. But awaiting them, unfortunately, is the 73-win defending champs. Even without Steph Curry, the Warriors won’t have an issue against a Paul-less and potentially “Griffin-hobbled” Clipper team.
The NBA-gods will once again stop the Clippers’ playoff hopes in Round 2 but this time the ramifications are much worse. It’s all but predetermined that anything short of a Conference Finals or Finals appearance for this iteration of the Clippers era will cause a roster shakeup in the offseason.
Look for the Blake Griffin rumors to swirl like wildfire as soon as the season is over, as well as other integral players.
The first-round series with Portland is currently tied at 2-2.
#DOFGAME # DOG