The Clippers, that served as the black horse coming out of the west, can pretty much kiss their season goodbye.
The Clippers came out strong in the first two games of this first round series against the Portland Trailblazers. With the first two games being played in Los Angeles, the Clippers capitalized on their home field advantage and took a 2-0 lead in the series. With the series coming back to Portland, the Trailblazers were able to get a game back, beating the Clippers 96-88.
Portland desperately needed another win at home to tie the series at 2 if they wanted any chance to win this series. However, the Trailblazers hadn’t scored 100 points in any game so far ( averaging 92.5 PPG this postseason ), while the clippers put up over 100 in both of their wins. If Portland wanted to beat Los Angeles they were going to have to step up their offense. While Lillard and McCollum have been doing a lot of the work ( combine for an average 39 PPG this postseason ), its Portlands’ bench that was going to have to step up and contribute.
Game four was more of the same. The Trailblazers were on pace to not break 100, and the Clippers were on the same track. Going into the fourth quarter, Portland lead 66-64. Whether or not Portland could close the game and tie the series at 2, was completely up to them; there destiny lay in their hands.
But by the grace of the big man upstairs, Chris Paul had to leave the game with a broken bone in his right hand. The actual name of the bone is really long so just remember that his hand was broken. Paul was the Clippers quarterback, and anyone would tell you that without Chris Paul, this offense was sloppy and inefficient. During the season when Paul sat out, the clippers point differential was over -400. So the fact that he was out for the game and most likely the series the Clippers would have to rely on their deep bench to compensate. Jamaal Crawford and Paul Pierce are potential void fillers, but they can’t run the floor like Paul.
As if this wasn’t bad enough. Late in the game Griffin went down with an “aggravated quad tendon” whatever the hell that is. All I know is that its pretty damn serious. Paul is still questionable to return but Griffin was immediately ruled out for the rest of the postseason. So now the Clippers lost their two superstars and they’re essentially just a washed up team without any help.
Paul and Griffin were the Clippers two leaders in points, as well as play making ability. They averaged a combined 39 PPG this postseason as were the main source of energy on this team. So now that the Clippers are without these two, they might as well pack their bags and get ready for next season.