The Los Angeles Clippers are losing hope in the NBA playoffs 2016 following the back to back losses they incurred when both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul exited the games with serious injuries. With the San Antonio Spurs, who has very healthy stars in Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Tim Duncan, gearing for a bloody battle against the Oklahoma City Thunder led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the DeAndre Jordan squad lost two of their NBA All-Star players. While the Golden State Warriors are limping their way to Game 5 versus the Houston Rockets, the leadership of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson still poses serious threats to their opponents. Given the level of competition in the Western Conference, how will the Los Angeles Clippers fare?
Fans feel that the NBA season might as well be declared as a lost cause for the Los Angeles Clippers. Even if they make it to the end of the Western Conference finals, the sheer strength of LeBron James will blow them apart once they face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA championship. Without Griffin and Paul, the Jamal Crawford squad are lame ducks in the game filled with aggression and high energy. Where do they go from here?
"Yeah, it's not the best luck," said Doc Rivers of the current situation of the NBA team. The Los Angeles Clippers head coach added, "I mean, it's the worst that I've seen. There're storms and every storm, it stops raining at some point. We've just got to figure it out. We can't look at the future other than tomorrow. That's all we've got to do. We've got to focus on tomorrow. That's what our team has to do. We can't control the noise outside of our team."
Rivers went on to explain the importance of Griffin and Paul to the team and likened the two All-Star players to other stars of the same caliber. The head coach shared that if other teams like the OKC lose both Durant and Westbrook or if the Golden State Warriors lose Stephen Curry and Thompson or Green, then those squads will not be as formidable as before. That is, the lost of major stars in a roster "changes your team."
"Different guys are going to have to step up," said Rivers of his plan to fix the mess they are facing at the moment. He added, "What I always had to convince guys was you can't go into the game thinking it's you -- you're the guy that's going to score 30 that night -- because it's probably going to take four or five guys to do it. It's not going to be one guy."
Meanwhile, Griffin shared that the timing of his injuries has made it "tough" for the Los Angeles Clippers to compete. With this in mind, rumors are rife that the NBA team is thinking of an overhaul. Throughout the season, fans of the Los Angeles Clippers hoped for a visible improvement in the roster. However, Rivers chose to stick with Griffin, Paul and DeAndre Jordan to lead the starting lineup. This group, albeit talented, appears to no longer work for the Los Angeles Clippers.
What does it mean for the trio? Since Jordan seems to be the only one who was consistent enough in almost all the season, with both Paul and Griffin putting down the team with their injuries, it is highly likely that the Los Angeles Clippers will look into trading the latter two. Given the rich free agency market next NBA season, it will no longer come as a surprise if the team aims for a shot at the Kevin Durant free agency opportunity.
"We're right on the borderline," shared Rivers earlier this season, referring to the championship drought in the Los Angeles Clippers. He added, "I have no problem saying that. I'm a believer that teams can get stale. After a while, you don't win. It just doesn't work. We're right at the edge. Oklahoma City is on the edge. Memphis, too. We just have to accept it."