The Clippers defeated the Utah Jazz in six games of the second-round series to lock in a spot in the Western Conference Finals to play against the Phoenix Suns. LA won the regular-season matchups over Phoenix going 2-1.
Are the Los Angeles Clippers frauds like last season or are they legit?
When the Los Angeles Clippers assembled this great team last season, most would say “Oh, no one is beating the Clips,” or “This Clippers team is going to blow by everyone in the West!” or “No other team in the NBA has a better bench than the Clips do.
Most were wrong.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I did think that LA would make it to the Western Conference Finals in the NBA Bubble to go against the other LA squad, the Los Angeles Lakers. I just knew that no one was going to be able to beat the best player in the world, LeBron James, and one of the top five players in the world, Anthony Davis, in a seven-game series. It was just a gut feeling. Also, IQ.
The Clippers blew it in the second round of the playoffs inside the bubble to the Denver Nuggets. Denver was nice… really nice, but not nice enough to beat a star power team like the Clips. Guess they really were nice enough. LA was up three games to one going into Game 5 of the series and just fumbled the bag… BIG TIME!
After that humiliating loss, the Los Angeles Clippers decided to let go of some players and bring in some fresh meat and also fired their head coach, Doc Rivers. Doc was the head coach of the Clips since the 2012-2013 NBA season. He had a winning record every single season for the Clippers while also taking them to the playoffs six out of those seven years to compete for a championship. Los Angeles ended up hiring Tyronn Lue as their new head coach. Lue won a championship back in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers so, he has tremendous experience in winning.
The Clippers are happy, proud, excited, and uplifted after making it to the Conference Finals, but there is still a lot of work for them to do. They have not announced that Kawhi Leonard will play in this next series after hurting his knee in the previous series. Kawhi has averaged 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.1 steals per game in the playoffs this season. He has been the superstar for this Clippers team and will remain so. Leonard was inactive for Games 5 and 6 against Utah so, it was very questionable if LA could overcome this loss and advance to the next round.
It was like deja vu for the Clippers. They were about to get sent home early in the second round for the second straight season while having an amazing line-up, but Paul George had something else in mind. George scored only ten points in 38 minutes played of the elimination game last season against the Denver Nuggets. He had a lot to prove after fans changed his nickname from “Playoff P,” to “Pandemic P.”
He came out and delivered!
George played outstanding in Game 5 against the Jazz. He scored 37 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, dished out five assists, had one steal, and two blocks. He put on an All-Star type performance to upset the Jazz on their home floor to go back to Los Angeles for Game 6. George played amazing in Game 6 as well helping the Clippers reach their first-ever Western Conference Finals with the help of Terrance Mann who went straight BEAST MODE scoring a career-high 39 points.
The Clips will face a young, powerful, and very smart Phoenix Suns team in this next round. They do have what it takes to make an NBA Finals run and win a championship, but they will certainly need the help of their superstar forward, Kawhi Leonard.
In their first-ever Western Conference Finals appearance, the Clippers have a shot to win their first-ever NBA championship!