When it comes to playoff disappointment, the Clippers are in a league of their own


A full documentary, and probably should be done on the Denver Nuggets, who played the role of “Dead Man Walking” in each of their playoff series before returning to the invincible and 3–1 drawback. Twice.

There will be a spotlight on Gary Harris, formerly one of the league’s best players, whose return from injury has given the club a much-needed defensive stopper on the wing. We’ll get an entire section on the importance of Paul Millsap’s series-saving third quarter in Game 5 against LA and the pairing of Michael Porter Jr. made in the fourth to play the clutch. Star center Nikola Jokiev’s one-legged, snarling Fadiawe, who almost lifts up before touching the sweaters, will receive the “Sport Science” treatment. And Jamal Murray’s shot-making will be edited in slow motion, the way we’re using it to watch it with the NFL Films Special.

Over time, it may inspire all of us to go back and see how it all came together – especially if the Nuggets took down the Lakers and beat the odds again in this coming round. Credit For every bit of Denver’s existence, the Los Angeles Clippers – heavily favored to win just before straying their 3–1 lead in the series – are worth questioning until next season begins. And the first and probably only question will be: how can this happen Again – Especially with Qui Leonard and Paul George, who were going to erase this narrative?

This is the fifth time in seven seasons under coach Doctor River that the Clippers have lost a playoff matchup at some point after winning the series. The losses were not necessarily equal. For example, the first round defeat against the Jazz in 2017 was followed by a 2–1 lead. And the 2–0 lead they lost to Portland in the first round in 2016 could be forgiven as the Stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul went down due to injuries. But even those aside, the hard-hitting Los Angeles club has given its fans an abundance of resentment and nightmares over the past seven years.

In 2014, there was an incredible Game 5 loss to Oklahoma City, with the Clippers leading by 7 points and leaving with a 99.3 percent chance of winning with 49 seconds left before all hell broke loose. The original 3–1 series collapsed in 2015, when they took advantage of 19 points over James Harden and the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of the conference semifinals.

And now, when the franchise was ready to be baptized in a way, washing away the past and making their first trip to the conference finals and facing the Lakers, it fell short again – this time as a co-favorite to win. NBA Championship in. Clippers – who somehow manage to track down the canteen in the desert, only to find them empty – now continue their walk through the woods as they enter Decade No. 5, waiting until next year .

Based on their pre-playoff Elo ratings – using a logistic regression to predict each team’s chances to make the conference finals – the Clips were expected to make only three conference finals since 2012, when Chris Paul brought them back after the playoffs. Six years of drought. (The -3.1 disparity between conference final appearances and expected appearances is basically double that of the next closest team: Utah has recorded a -1.56 over the span.) Using the same odds, we can conclude that La Elo A team with. In that period the profile would have been given a 98.7 percent chance of reaching at least one conference final in that window.

The Clippers should have made a deep run by now

The biggest difference between the actual and expected * conference finals for NBA teams since the 2011–12 season

the seminar. Final form
Team Playoffs Average. Pre-playoff elo Actual Be expected Diff.
Cavaliers 4 1592.5 4 0.84 3.16
Celtics 8 1577.1 4 1.54 2.46
Warmth 6 1598.9 4 1.57 2.43
Warrior’s 7 1673.1 5 3.55 1.45
Fast bowlers 8 1549.7 2 0.84 1.16
Hawks 6 1535.4 1 0.60 0.40
Lakers 3 1587.5 1 0.60 0.40
Lightning 8 1629.2 3 2.89 0.11
Spurs 8 1666.3 4 4.06 -0.06
Piston 2 1506.7 0 0.07 -0.07
Timberwolves 1 1551.4 0 0.10 -0.10
Nuggets 4 1611.0 1 1.16 -0.16
Grizzlies 6 1567.7 1 1.16 -0.16
Hornets 2 1567.2 0 0.23 -0.23
The box 6 1544.1 1 1.23 -0.23
Pelicans 2 1564.0 0 0.25 -0.25
Magic 3 1528.8 0 0.27 -0.27
The trap 5 1517.1 0 0.31 -0.31
The magicians 4 1531.3 0 0.39 -0.39
Nix 2 1597.7 0 0.42 -0.42
Raptors 7 1627.1 2 2.49 -0.49
Trail blazers 7 1592.8 1 1.51 -0.51
Mavericks 5 1561.1 0 0.63 -0.63
Rockets 8 1623.5 2 2.80 -0.80
76ers 4 1580.1 0 0.84 -0.84
Bulls 5 1575.5 0 1.00 -1.00
Jazz 5 1611.8 0 1.56 -1.56
Shear 8 1635.4 0 3.10 -3.10

* The expected conference finals performances are based on logistic regression using the team’s pre-playoff Elo rating each season.

Source: basketball-reference.com

For everything the Nuggets had achieved their series win, overcoming the rest of the loss and playing without their third leading scorer in Will Barton, Los Angeles did as much to complete it. The Clippers needed a single win to advance, leading 19 in Game 5, 19 in Game 6 and 12 in Game 7.

But Denver excluded Los Angeles 181–117 in the second stop. In those potential close-out games, a period in which Leonard and George combined for shooting only 18 to 65 from the floor, for a disappointing 27 percent. Surprisingly, in Game 7 they combined for just 5 seconds of half-point, while neither player managed to score during the fourth quarter – a brutal result for a team, before landing these stars , Was statistically the league’s best in clutch situations.

Even with those two struggles, the Clippers should be able to rely on Lou Williams, who was one of the NBA’s premier bucket-getters for a long time. But he was terrible in the series, averaging 10 points on 11 shots while shooting just 14.8 percent of three (4-of-27). The entire team went from deep to cold in Game 7, disappearing after consistently hitting all 12 points in its 3rd corner. First round and games 1 to 6 Of another.

Different no-shows from the big names ruined the club’s chance. But the common denominator in the team Late series failures This river, which has been running for more than seven years, is now seen Their six teams gained a 3–1 or 3–2 lead.. The coach, who won a title in Boston in 2008, sometimes waits too long to adjust to problems within a matchup. The most obvious example: Rivers used the Montreal Harl very often despite failing to leave an impact for defense.

Jokiv and the Nuggets feasted on 120.4 points per 100 possessions when Harel was on the floor, as opposed to 106 points per 100 on a night and day when he scored, when Ivika Zubac was serving as the Clippers center . And in those moments when Jokic was not raining jumpers from all over the place, he showed why it is discussed that perhaps the greatest greatest man league has ever seen. He stood at the free-throw line with a 4-on-3 advantage and all played with his meal watching the defenders before firing passes to open 3-point shooters.

He was able to separate those power play in the third quarter as ineffective nets led to Los Angeles trying to throw at Murray, who had dropped 20 points in the second quarter alone. That was the reality for the Clippers in the last three games: They would adjust very slowly to fix a problem, but then when they were really trying to do something different, the Nuggets would also tear it apart. And for players who were to be given the Clippers advantage of talent, Leonard and George had no answer that the game was delayed due to the push coming late.

Without that answer, the Clippers now prepare for another office that should last longer than it should have at the end – exactly what their stars should have inspired from them.

Jay Boise contributed to the research.

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