Saturday, May 4, 2013

Clippers Set Sail for Another Long Off-Season

For Los Angeles Lakers fans, a little bit of comfort to a disappointing season was felt Friday evening, this in the form of the rival Los Angeles Clippers being ousted on the hardwood four games to two by Memphis.

As a franchise with one of the worst histories in professional sports, the Clippers thought over the last two seasons they had turned the corner, including winning the Pacific Division crown this season. As it turned out, however, the Clippers ended up being.... well …. the Clippers.

Up with a 2-0 lead in the series, the Clips proceeded to drop four straight to the Grizzlies, three of which came on the road. The toughest loss was in Game Five, where the Grizzlies stole the home court advantage away from L.A., leading to a potential close out game Friday night in Tennessee.

When the dust settled, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley (23 points each), along with Tony Allen (19 points), had led the Grizzlies to a 118-105 victory, completing a run of four straight wins to clip Los Angeles.

The win sends Memphis into the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, giving it a date starting Sunday with top-seed Oklahoma City.

As for the Clippers, it could turn into a long off-season.

Are Paul and Del Negro Back Next Season? While Blake Griffin will be back in the Clipper uniform next season, it is not a done deal that All-Star Game MVP Chris Paul will be, although CP3 has given some indications in the recent past that he’d like to keep building a playoff winner along with Griffin.

As for head coach Vinny Del Negro, do not be shocked by any means if he’s gone before this most recent series has had a chance to cool down. Many Clipper fans (perhaps a player or two) will lay blame with Del Negro for not making the right moves to get this team to put the final nails in the Grizzlies’ coffin when leading 2-0 in the series.

No matter what moves the Clippers make in the off-season, their temporary run to claiming to be L.A.’s new team has been abruptly sunk.
While the Lakers definitely have their work cut out for them over the summer, they were not expected to do much if anything in the playoffs, this especially after Kobe Bryant went down late in the regular season.

For the “other team” in Los Angeles, the expectations have drifted away into the deep blue sea.

About the Author: With 23 years’ writing experience, Dave Thomas covers a variety of consumer and business topics, including hardwood flooring.

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