In a response to a Sportscenter Instagram put up that highlighted some of the most entertaining moments from the LA Clippers’ ‘Lob City’ period, former Clippers ahead Matt Barnes commented “We were being our possess worst enemy.”
It’s an astute point, and Barnes is not the only Lob City teammate to have been so forthcoming about the Clippers’ skipped opportunities (J.J. Redick has said about as significantly several moments on his podcast). It appears that the consensus takeaway from this period of Clippers basketball—the very first in which they were definitely regarded as title contenders—was that they did not arrive at their full probable.
The Sportscenter submit was mainly comprised of Blake Griffin dunks, as they should really be. Griffin could not have been the ideal participant on individuals Clippers teams, but he was emblematic of the tradition the Clippers experienced designed. They were the most entertaining workforce in Los Angeles because of him (at minimum on nights when Nick Youthful was not lacking threes he was confident he’d make), and it truly felt as nevertheless they ended up on the brink of one thing specific. But they just could not get in excess of the 2nd-spherical hump.
Is Barnes hinting at locker area turmoil? Or potentially the numerous mental collapses that plagued the Clippers during their playoff runs? It will never be effortless to pinpoint the most significant reason why the Clippers fell small of a title through this period. Accidents to Blake Griffin and Chris Paul ended up no doubt large aspects, and like most historic If’s, this caveat will probably be missing to time. But credit score need to be given to the teams that beat them as well. The Western Convention was (and however is) a massacre, and the Clippers had been never the title favored coming into a period during the Lob City run.
But Barnes has a point: when you consider a stage back again and search at the talent of this team—led by two MVP candidates in Griffin and Chris Paul—and assess it to the talent they ended up going through, the Clippers probably underperformed to their expertise stage, that means there was another, a lot less quantifiable element at engage in. The stage of underperformance can be debated (perhaps they should’ve capped out at the convention finals) but was section of it self-inflicted? Most likely Barnes will elaborate on this remark at some point on his All the Smoke podcast. He’s by no means been a person to shy away from speaking his head.
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