Clippers Tie Playoff Series Against Utah
Tuesday night the Los Angeles Clippers evened up their playoff series 1-1 against the Utah Jazz. The Western Conference match up may be between the four and five seeds but many felt that the Clippers would win easily. But that has not been the case.
Since the Jazz stole a game in the Staples Arena, they now own home court. This can become a huge advantage as it provides supreme confidence for Utah. Also, it tells them that they can win anywhere.
Last night’s game score ended 99-91 but in game one LA lost to a Joe Johnson buzzer beater. In fact, the Clippers went against a team without Rudy Gobert in both games. He would sustain a knee injury just seconds into game one.
Even yet, without Utah’s defensive anchor, Lob City has played tightly with the Jazz.
Now, with the Clippers’ season potentially in jeopardy many think it may be time to blow up the core players. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick are all free agents this summer which makes the thought make more sense.
But according to USA Today, coach and general manager Doc Rivers thinks that would be an asinine decision.
“Here’s my argument to (the question of whether all that luxury tax is worth it),” Rivers, who is three years into a five-year deal worth more than $50 million, told USA TODAY Sports recently. “Let’s say we don’t win this year — which I think we will, (but) let’s say we don’t. Do you give up on a 50-win team that has proven that they’re really close (to winning it all), or do you hang in there and keep trying to maybe make changes around (the core)?”
Coach of the 2008 NBA champions, Boston Celtics, went on.
“I always use Utah as a great (example). Thank God Karl Malone and (John) Stockton didn’t listen to people, you know what I mean? They fell (in the playoffs), and kept trying and kept trying. And finally, late in their careers, they finally broke through to the Finals. They didn’t win it (all). But you know, that’s the pursuit. I just think it’s so easy to (say), ‘Hey, they should break up,’ from the outside. And I think that’s such an easy opinion.”
Rivers may have a point. His team always has a chance to win compared to their record. Also with an MVP candidate and defensive player of the year candidate, why not keep them.
But one thing is that the Utah team he refers to never won a title. If you’re not trying to win that then why play? In fact, the Clippers have yet to reach the conference finals with this core. Also with players like Paul George and Carmelo Anthony looking for new homes it may be time for a change.
Watch: Utah Jazz Steal A Game From Los Angeles Clippers