Trying To Avoid Another Collapse
Los Angeles Clippers are on the brink of elimination after the Utah Jazz took a 3-2 lead in Game 5 of their dramatic 1st round Western Conference series, defeating the Clippers 96-92 on Tuesday night from Staples Center. A loss on Friday night in Salt Lake City would not only end their season; it would blow up the core of the team thus putting an end to a “Clipper Dynasty”, which never was.
The Clippers lost their second game at home this postseason, as the Jazz got 27 points from Gordon Haywood, and clutch shots from vet Joe Johnson, the Clippers have lost two in a row after superstar Blake Griffin suffered yet another devastating injury to his big toe sustained in Game 3. The 5-time All-Star leads the team with 21 points and 8 rebounds this season, although the injury bug has nagged and burrowed the entire team, forcing Griffin to miss 18 games.
The Clippers cut the lead to 90-88 in the final 3 minutes, Point Guard Chris Paul continues his remarkable Playoffs scoring 28 points. However, the Clippers depleted front line was unable to grab a crucial board, the Jazz got the loose ball and Joe Johnson nailed a rainbow 3- pointer that proved to be the dagger. It was reminiscent of his Game 1 buzzer beater, a parabola floater in a 97-95 victory, which has become a hallmark of his 16-year career.
Should the Clippers sustain another bitter disappointing May, immediate changes are sure to follow. These Clippers have never advanced past the second round the last four Playoffs, as the team will likely be forced to make the agonizing decision this Summer between Griffin and Paul.
Both superstars are set to become free agents this off season. DTLA Weekly suggests a sign in trade for Griffin, who is perpetually injured and is akin to an old-timey boxer cursed with a glass jaw.
Let’s not put the cart before the horse…
There is still hope for this season. We already beat them in Utah, when we rallied to capture Game 3, 111-106. In Game 4, we led practically the whole way, before allowing the Jazz to end the game on a 21-5 run. The loss will haunt Chuck the Condor for years.
In 2015, the Clippers trailed 3-2 to the San Antonio Spurs before winning the series in 7 games, so we’ve done it before. One step at a time, the Clippers need to bounce back on Friday with a strong supporting cast. CP3 can’t do it alone- well need Jamal Crawford, Mo Speights, and J.J. Redick to be clutch at Vivant Smart Home Arena.
A victory would set the stage for an epic Game 7 on Sunday, April 30th from Staples Center. Go Clippers!