Los Angeles Clippers they have been eliminated in the semifinals of the Western Conference after losing the seventh game of the tie against the Denver Nuggets by 104-89. The Angelenos have thrown a 3-1 series lead overboard and are out of the playoffs.
They were the favorites at the bookmakers to win the title. But they go home. Without a doubt, we can classify the end of the season as a failure. We can classify his passage through the playoffs as a failure.
A team consisting of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley, Marcus Morris, Reggie Jackson and company and led by Doc Rivers has been out after playing without defensive intensity the last two games of the series. It is inexplicable, but it has happened.
Without detracting from the Nuggets, the keys to the elimination of the Clippers (those defects that were already seen in the series against the Mavs) are the following:
1. Lack of defensive consistency
This has been the Clippers’ biggest « sin » during the playoffs. They have not been constant neither in defense nor in attack. It has been a team that has only shown its great potential in bursts. It has gone from being a team called to mark a defensive era in the league to being a true sneak in the playoffs. And, of course, without defense you don’t win championships.
2. Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell
The top two sixth men in the NBA in the past two seasons have not lived up to the playoffs. Harrell was late to the bubble because of the death of his grandmother and it was normal that he was not in tune against Dallas, but he has not found it against the Nuggets either. Williams has been awful on the triple in every playoff. They have not contributed what they contributed in the regular league.
3. Paul George
The Clippers have been solving the games every time between Paul George and Kawhi Leonard they scored more than 50 points. However, PG has not played its part in many encounters. In the seventh, he failed again in a key duel. So did Kawhi, but it was the first of the postseason that he was not up to scratch. The Clippers are going to need a more consistent George if they want to win a championship in the next few years.
4. Doc Rivers
When they come back 3-1, the coach always has something to blame. And we put Rivers on this list because it’s not the first time he’s failed with the Clippers. He failed to lead the Angelenos to the Finals with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and, in this first attempt, he has not done it with Kawhi and PG either. You need to think about how to get your players plugged in at certain times. So that they do not leave the games.