PIC OF THE DAY - The Pic of the Day again goes to Eric Bledsoe. He is the one guy who stepped up in the 2nd round and played beyond anybody's expectations. Is EB growing up right before our eyes?
NEXT GAME - Next October
ALERT - Lob City was great entertainment. The Clippers dressed up their lineup this year adding Chris Paul, Caron Butler, Nick Young, Kenyon Martin, and Chancey Billups. During the regular season we were looking pretty sharp. The Clippers enjoyed the best winning percentage in Clippers history.
But in the playoffs, the Clippers were like the sexy cheerleader who is suddenly standing next to the hottest chick in school. You are left standing there exposed, warts, freckles and all. They were good enough to have a very successful regular season, strong enough to win the first round, but when matched up against the best, well oiled machine that is the San Antonio Spurs, the flaws that keep the Clippers from becoming an elite team were exposed.
We didn't have the playoff experience or enough experience period that the Spurs had.
We didn't have a hall of fame coach to lead us and make the necessary adjustments.
We didn't have an identifiable set offense that could get the job done on a regular basis.
We played well at times but just couldn't be as consistant as the Spurs.
We couldn't match the Spurs definition of what it is to be a complete TEAM.
All good things eventually come to an end. For Clipper fans, I think we will look back at this season and say "thanks for the memories." We will remember the comeback victories. We will watch the highlight reels of Lob City. We will remember watching Chris Paul rip defenses to shreds.
But what from this year will carry over to next season? Our GM Neil Oshey will evaluate the team, toss out the dead weight, and bring in players that will make the team stronger and more consistant next year. He will bring in a coach capable of raising the team up to the next level. CP3 will come back next season even more determined than this year. Blake Griffin will work harder than ever to become the complete player he is destined to be. And most importantly, we will see the emergence of the next Clippers superstar, Eric Bledsoe.
The playoff experience will be more valuable than anything else that happened this year. In the end, it will teach the Clippers that to beat the best you have to be the best. It is not about an entertaining show. There is nothing particularly flashy about the Spurs. They are just effective.
The Clippers will be a team searching for an identity other than Lob City. They need an identity that says who they are and how they are going to beat you. They need something in their offense that they can go back to and rely on, night in and night out, every quarter of every game. Not just sometimes, but all the time.
Are they fast break team? Are they a push the ball up the floor and strike quickly team? Are they an effective set offense, low post team? Are they pick and roll or pick and pop specialists? Are they destined to become one of the best defensive teams?
The new coach they hire and the lineup that Olshey puts together will have the ultimate influence on the identity that the Clippers embrace next season. Somehow, I have the feeling that this team will emerge stronger. This will still be the team that is on the "Rise."
Wester Conference - SemiFinals
1- San Antonio Spurs>>>>>>>>>>Spurs 4-0
5- Los Angeles Clippers
2- Oklahoma City Thunder
3- Los Angeles Lakers
Thunder lead 3-1
Eastern Conference SemiFinals
2- Miami Heat
3- Indiana Pacers
Series tied 2-2
4- Boston Celtics
6- Philadelphis 76ers
Series tied 2-2
aka Don Allen