This should be the lesson and the big challenge for the Clippers next year. For all the talent, the beef and the basketball IQ they have collectively, nothing will beat a team that is cohesive and willing to dirty themselves deep in the trenches.
There is so much at stake for the Clippers in this game. After the massive investment to bring in Kawhi, George, Marcus Morris and the rest, a loss now will be a huge downer. Coach Rivers will have to get this team mentally and physically prepared to do battle. Failing that, this could be the end of the Clippers’ title dreams for the years ahead.
The Western Frontier has the heavyweight gunners in the league. Watch them as they try to knock each other out of the playoff picture.
This year’s NBA playoffs will be very demanding and very unpredictable. At the start of the season, we saw new line-ups with new star alignments. Then we saw the season shaken hard by the corona crisis. Coming back, the season was shortened, and the restart games confined to a single site, taking away the traditional homecourt advantage for the regular season race leaders, which brings forth a new dynamic to the game.
The greatest take-away from the resumption of the games is no longer about basketball. Its meaning, its very significance has transcended the game itself. The NBA has demonstrated it is capable of becoming bigger than basketball. More than the entertainment value it provides, the Restart offers a venue to promote safety protocols amid this pandemic. It provides a vehicle to promote social reforms. It provides an inspiration to the world, that by standing together, we can overcome all adversities.
Who will be crowned King of the ‘New Norm’ kingdom? Who will survive the fast and furious fight to the finals? In a battle of quick skirmishes, fast schedules and less time to mend ailing bones, the team with the deeper bench will win it all.