The word ‘disappointing’ classifies the Clippers finish to the 2020 season. It’s fair to say that game 7 of the second-round playoff series could be considered the lowest point in their history.
It was yet another example of the Clippers failing to make the most of what they had, and missing out on a position in the finals.
It’s likely that you wouldn’t want to bet on The Clippers hitting the final next season. However, it’s possible you should be taking the odds on online pokies, the Clippers do have what it takes to go all the way.
Change of Coach
Doc Rivers has quit as team coach. He took over the team in the 2013-2014 season and has brought the Clippers to the playoffs in six out of seven seasons. But, the second round has always been their breaking point.
Rivers feels he has done everything he can, the choice of replacement will be critical to the success of the Clippers next season.
A favourite, with plenty of experience, is Sam Cassell. He started coaching the Clippers at the same time as Rivers became coach, straight after retiring from playing himself. He’s familiar with the team and, by interjecting his own ideas he could lift the team and make that elusive final.
It’s worth noting Ty Lue is also in the running and has a track record having taken the Cavaliers to an NBA title.
The Clippers are not the first team to destroy a 3-1 lead, it’s happened to many teams before and will again. But, in many of these cases the team has come back stronger. Granted, in some case, such as the Lakers in 2006 it took two seasons to come back strong.
But, the Clippers already have a good team, with the right head coach the disappointment of this season can be used to fuel next season. The result will be a team that is driven to win at all costs.
That’s what makes a championship NBA team.
The team has already admitted that poor-conditioning, pressure, and even a lack of chemistry in the team contributed to the defeat. The issue may come down to the team’s desire to use a process-orientated approach.
While this may be useful in identifying what went wrong, and in realizing when other teams are leading the play. A new coach and a different approach in 2021 may make a fundamental difference to how the team plays.
Paul George has reportedly already spoken to the team about them all committing to the next season. He believes the best way of them improving is to stick together and improve as a team. The better they know each other and can predict plays, the easier it will be to become a strong team.
He’s right, and in asking for an early commitment from the team he’s showing that they are ready to make the final, and perhaps win. After all, winning starts with the right mental attitude. A team that knows each other is more likely to make the play count under pressure.
They may be down, but don’t write the Clippers off yet, 2021 could be their best season yet.