The story was already written at the beginning of the season.
Kawhi Leonard vs LeBron James, Paul George vs Anthony Davies, the Clippers vs the Lakers in a battle for LA and for the West.
It was a script match for Hollywood.
LeBron, AD and co. held up their finish of the story and had been sitting impatiently ready for the Clippers to get by means of the Denver Nuggets and at half-time in Sport Six earlier this week it should have appeared prefer it was lastly showtime.
However the best way the Clippers relinquished their commanding result in the see the Nuggets power a winner-take-all shootout on Wednesday morning (AEST) urged that the script was about to get rewritten.
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It’s not the telling of a colossal battle between two nice rivals, however now the story of the journey of the underdog, David dealing with as much as Goliath.
However in backdrop of the West’s prime-time providing the Clippers will begin to decide aside its season and the way one thing so promising went so badly askew.
The Clippers put all their chips on the desk at the beginning of the season, sinking $285m (AUD) and 5 first-round draft picks (and extra…) into two gamers in a single loopy hour to vary the face of the franchise, and hopefully its fortunes with it.
Kawhi price $140m to take from free company whereas George’s contract quantities to $144.5m, plus the 2 gamers and 5 first-round picks (two through Miami) to prise him from the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder.
It was an enormous funding, but it surely was completely one price making. The Clippers went from an excellent crew to an amazing crew in a single day. This was now a crew far faraway from the years of being the laughing inventory of Los Angeles, hidden within the shadows of the Lakers’ successes.
It was now a season when this already playoff-ready crew could be pushed excessive by its two new additions and ascend to greatness for the primary in its 50-year historical past.
Or, it was purported to be.
Introduced with two alternatives to shut out the Nuggets within the convention semis earlier than this morning’s Sport Seven, the Clippers blew each in spectacular style. First, they wasted a 16-point lead in Sport 5, then a 19-point benefit in Sport Six vanished.
And now, in Sport Seven, a crushing 15-point defeat because of the brilliance of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic has plunged the Clippers again into the shadows – solely this time with much more of a chuckle from the opposite aspect of LA, and even much less money in its again pocket.
“Hear, while you resolve to be a coach, it’s not going to be roses each day,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers mentioned after Sport Six. “So we clearly have the correct method so far as how we’re enjoying, after which we preserve dropping it.”
Whether or not Rivers will get an opportunity to work out how 1+1=three within the Disneyland bubble is one other factor, with Kawhi and George now only one season away from having the choice to enter free company.
The Clippers’ ambition 12 months in the past now seems to be impatient, with a possible franchise cornerstone in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and unprotected first-round picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026, plus decide swaps in 2023 and 2025, all now belonging to the Thunder.
The Clippers don’t have anything left to commerce; all they’ll do is provide Leonard and George contract extensions and hope they take them. However, whether or not both of them do or not is an issue for one more day.
In these two franchise items the Clippers solely secured two bites on the cherry.
They only choked on the primary one.
They now want a top-down evaluation of how issues went to date astray from their pre-season title-favourite standing, to be sure that second chew satisfies their starvation.