Only one game today, as most of the first round is now complete. Today featured the last stand of a team that made an excellent case to free agents as to why they should consider the Clippers above all other teams with cap space through their tenacious play against the heavy Western Conference favourites.
Let’s dive in shall we.
Golden State Warriors (4-2) vs Los Angeles Clippers (2-4): 129 to 110
Before we mourn the loss of some of the most fun players to watch in the whole of the NBA post season, lets deal with the game 6 itself.
It felt like Kevin Durant had decided two things in this game. First, that he was done with playing around with the Clippers and second that he was the best player in the world. Whether or not the latter is true, KD demolished the Clips, putting up 50 points, 6 boards and 5 assists on 15/26 shooting.
Showing a diverse offensive ruthlessness that only he, LeBron and Harden are capable of, Durant destroyed the Blazers from the post, behind the arc, at the rim and on the line (14/15).
Durant is unstoppable when he’s like this, particularly for a Clippers team devoid of elite perimeter defender talent aside from a much smaller Patrick Beverley (who is an animal). Curry chipped in with 24 points and Draymond Green had a great night posting a 16-14-10 triple double.
However this is well overdue for the Warriors and if they chose to play around with the Rockets the next round the way they did this Clippers team, it may not be so easy to get the win.
Speaking of this Clippers team, lets think about how good this team was to watch as an eighth seed. Going into the playoffs, not many people had them taking a game from the Warriors. To come out with two post season wins against the championship favourites is a huge accomplishment for a team who traded their top player mid-season.
Patrick Beverley has to be the new Tony Allen of the NBA. The guy who works so gosh darn hard on the defensive end that it inspires his team to push on and sets a high standard for his whole team. He bodies up with everyone he comes accross and is clearly beloved by everyone in the Clippers organisation.
Lou Williams is a legitimate offensive superstar, and his pairing with Montrezl Harrell in the pick and roll in this series gives off some nasty Nash-Stoudemire vibes.
Doc Rivers deserves a lot of credit for the performance and toughness of this group, particularly as they rely a lot on young talent like Gilgeous-Alexander, Shamet and Zubac to contribute a high volume of minutes.
I’m not sure many teams would have taken two games off this team in round one and this team will be sorely missed. If it turns out the Warriors win the title and don’t drop more than two games to any of the other teams this postseason, this series will be an important selling point to potential off-season acquisitions like Kawhi, Kyrie, Kemba, Butler or even KD himself.
For now tho the Clippers should enjoy their vacation and be proud of the season that was.