Remember after dropping their second game at home to fall behind 0-2 heading to back to Dallas, Ty Lue said this?
The internet had their fun with it as you can imagine. Well fast forward to today……and he was right? Luka's neck injury is clearly a factor here, but credit the Clippers. They went on the road and looked like the Clippers we all expected when the playoffs started. Not just taking both games, but taking both in complete blowouts. Even with the Mavs shooting 44/51% with 20 3PM in Game 3, it still wasn't enough. Then the shooting came crashing down to earth in Game 4 with 34/16% splits and now we have a series on our hands.
With all the jokes the internet loves to get off about Pandemic P, we should also acknowledge what he's doing in this series. Through 4 games George has put up 25.0/8.5/4.5 on 50% shooting. In the two games in DAL, he shot 50/41%. Hard to get your slander off when he's coming through in big playoff moments.
Then you add in the fact that Kawhi is off to one of the best postseason starts of his career at 33.0/8.5/3.8/2.3 on 62/47% shooting, and the Clippers are starting to look every bit like the title contender they were built up to be.
As we know, they're going to go only as far as those two wings are able to take them, and the Mavs haven't really had an answer for either.
The issue with Luka's injury is the fact that when he doesn't go nuclear, the other Mavs need to show up.Unfortunately, his help was nowhere to be found. Just 1-8 for Tim Hardaway Jr, 3-9 for Finney-Smith, 2-8 for Brunson, 2-7 for Richardson and a -21 for Porzingis. The Porzingis piece is the biggest issue in my opinion. That experiment hasn't exactly gone great. They're also locked in for at least 3 more years at big money for him too. Not ideal.
It's not very often we see a series where you could argue the first team to win at home will win the series. Maybe dropping the first two at home was weirdly the wake up call that the Clippers needed, and frankly I'm happy they pulled off both because I want to see as many long series as possible. The Sixers are about to sweep, the Bucks already did, and the Nets are most likely moving on in 5. With this series now at 2-2, the Lakers/Suns at 2-2, and Blazerz/Nuggets at 2-2 there is still hope that the West can give us some awesome playoff drama. Not surprising since that was the power conference all year. If the Grizzlies somehow catch a prayer and even their series up 2-2, even better.
So while it's unfortunate for some (mostly Lakers fans) that the Clippers have seemed to turn things around, for the rest of us that simply enjoy watching awesome playoff basketball, I'm glad they did. I need at least 2 or 3 of these series to go 7 games. Whatever Adam Silver has to do in order to make that happen is fine with me.