From the opening tip off the Clippers were tight and tentative, carrying the devastating loss of game six on every one of their broad shoulders.
Desperate times called for desperate measures, but the Clippers desperation to win game seven proved to be too transparent, and they paid a hefty price for not putting away Houston last Thursday, on their home court.
With a commanding 3-1 series lead, they couldn’t play Texas hold ‘em against the Rockets, squandering their chance for a franchise first appearance into the Western Conference finals.
Tonight, “Lob City” was no match for, “Clutch City.” The Rockets relentless three point shooting, led by ex-Laker, Trevor Ariza, showed the gaping hole in the Clippers non-existent defense.
And when Glenn Davis tried his best to handle James Harden, we got to see the futile result of what happens when you send in a baby to guard a grown man.
Offensively, they were sloppy seconds, turning the ball over with poor passing, missing easy baskets, and not converting any time the Rockets had a rare miss.
Griffin had a quiet 27 points, and Paul was right behind him with 26, but as was proven this evening, and on so many Clipper occasions, it takes more than two players to make a team.
In the movie “Jaws,” to overcome a killer shark, they needed a bigger boat. To be contenders in the west, the Clippers are going to need a much better bench. They could also use another shooting guard who can take the pressure off Griffin and Paul to carry every god damn game.
During the course of the playoffs, it was fun seeing Doc’s kid get some kudos, but disappointing that he only excelled in a couple of games. Aside from the starting five, and Jamal Crawford, the Clippers are just not that deep; and I wish I meant that in a philosophical way.
One pathetic playoff statistic that will haunt the Clippers all off- season long is DeAndre Jordan’s poor foul shooting performance. 39-83 is unforgivable – but it probably won’t be a factor next year, when Jordan will be missing free throws on another team.
Steve Ballmer’s billions better provide some star power to give the Clippers some hope for next season. Kevin Durant, anyone?