The Los Angeles Clippers are not going to win an NBA Championship. Why? The basketball gods will now allow it.
For the second straight season, the clippers got off to a fast start only to watch their season unravel at Christmastime. Last year Blake Griffin went down to an injury at Christmas. Then he came back briefly only to get into a fight with his friend and break his hand, sidelining him again. Then on the first round of the playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Clippers got out to a 2-0 series lead only to watch Griffin and Chris Paul go down to injury. The Blazers promptly won the next four games.
Here we are at Christmas again this year and the Clippers have lost Griffin again, Paul again to a hamstring suffered in the team’s last win over the San Antonio Spurs and J. J. Redick who hurt his hammy in the Christmas Night loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, which snapped the Clips 11 game win streak over their more prestigious roommates.
Not only are the Clippers minus three starters, they could nearly have lost a fourth. Center Deandre Jordan was in a car accident while driving to the airport to get on the plane to fly to New Orleans for Wednesday Night’s game against the Pelicans. The Clippers say he wasn’t hurt, but we will see if he plays tonight.
Not only are the Clips down three starters, but this could not have come at a worse time. They had a three game home stretch against three bottom feeders in the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. These are three games the Clips should have put in the win column, but instead lost all three. They are dropping like a rock in the Western Conference standings and Griffin is still a month away from returning.
When will the Clips get Paul and Redick back? It’s hard to say but a hamstring pull is normally a two-week recovery. In the NBA that could be seven of eight games.
It’s bad enough that the Golden State Warriors, once the Clippers equal if that two or three seasons ago, have become a dynasty in the making, but now the Lakers appear to be on the rise once again. The window is closing on the Clippers as Paul gets older and Griffin becomes a free agent after the end of this season.
They have themselves to blame for some of the misfortune. They blew a 3-1 series lead and a huge late lead in Game Six to the Houston Rockets two years ago. A win in that game sends them to their first Western Conference Finals where they would have faced the Warriors. The Clippers had beaten the Warriors in seven games the previous season, so who knows how that may have gone?
But now it appears the Clippers are just not meant to be successful. The franchise spent many years run by Donald Sterling so its understandable as to why they were so bad for so long. Now it appears the gods of basketball are punishing the Clips, maybe for Sterling’s deeds? Or maybe they are Lakers fans.