The Los Angeles Clippers (0-2) have now lost the first two games of the first round of the playoffs against their bitter rival Dallas Mavericks (2-0), losing last night 127-121 at Staples Center. The Clippers came out with more fire than they did in the first game, but in the end it was still not enough as they could not overcome the overall stellar play of the Mav’s. Paul George had a much better game scoring 28 points on 12 out of 22 shooting, but he could not come up with the big shots when they needed them the most as he was only 1 out of 7 from 3. Kawhi Leonard had another great game where he scored 41 points. 30 of which came in the first half, but in the second half Dallas decided to throw 2 and even 3 guys at him and slowed him down.
Things looked good, until they didn’t
The Clippers lost the first quarter, but actually took a slight lead into halftime. Dallas is a front runner type team that just does not lose after winning the first quarter. They kept that trend going last night as they were able to come up with big runs late to stave off the home team. It was another good game throughout, but the Clippers were just not good enough to win it. They just have not gotten the production they have needed from their ancillary players. This was the matchup the Clippers wanted, and now they are paying for it. As a diehard Clippers fan, this was a team I did not want them to have to face. It now looks like my fears are coming to fruition. As of now it does not look like the Clips are going to win even one game playing at the level they currently are.
It pains me to say this, but I think my team is about to get swept. This would not be happening if they had actually taken the last few games of the regular season seriously. I hope to God I am wrong. But they are going to have change some things and step up in a BIG way if they want to turn things around. This was supposed to be a championship caliber team, and right now they look like frauds.
STAR OF THE GAME
Once again Luka Doncic and his 39 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, a steal, and a block. This guy has been playing with a fury that the Clips just have no idea what to do with. They have failed to slow him down at all. His team and him seem to be playing angry at the fact that LAC tanked to get to them in the first round. Puke-a Don-bitch was making tough tough shots he wouldn’t otherwise be making. I do not know why Kawhi has not been covering him more often. When he does, he has been more effective at it than Marcus Morris. Morris is getting absolutely worked as he struggles on both ends of the floor.
The role players. The supporting cast of the Clippers has not produced at the level they need to in order to come out with wins. Marcus Morris must be getting gassed having to guard Luka all the time, as he seems to not be able to make a damn thing. The Mavericks’ role players on the other hand, are playing lights out. With Dallas firing on all cylinders like this, they are going to be impossible to beat if the Clippers’ tertiary players cannot even come close to at least matching their counterparts.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and his 28 points, a rebound, 5 assists, and a steal. It’s not all that surprising the amount of production he put out last night because Hardaway Jr. has proven to be pretty good. What was surprising was that he just could not seem to miss. He made 9 out of 14 shots total and 6 out of 8 from 3. Whenever the Mav’s needed a big shot, Hardaway was there to knock one down to stifle any sort of momentum the Clips were gaining. LAC is going to need to do something to shut him down going forward. We can’t have background players like him torching us in order to have any chance at a win.
Game #3 v Dallas Mavericks, Friday, May 28th at 6:30PM Pacific. Dallas leads 2-0
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CLIPPERS ON THE VERGE CLIPPERS ON THE VERGE CLIPPERS ON THE VERGE
Written by Stewart Rau