Los Angeles Clippers (2) vs Portland Trail Blazers (2)
7:00 p.m. PST
April 27, 2016
Fox Prime Ticket/ NBA TV
1. On a scale of Clippers low points where does Game 4 rank?
Aaron Williams (@aaronsmarter): Nah, Roscoe. You can’t just post a question like this without a *Trigger Warning* for the long-time Clippers fans, fam. That rabbit hole is a PTSD minefield for those of us who started in the PG* era (*Pre-Griffin). Kandi-man… All those seasons of injured Kaveman… Livingston… *shudders*. I refuse to go any further back, or I may enter a fugue state. This isn’t the worst, but… This team always finds a way to hurt me.
Ben Mesirow (@SemNeb): This is pretty bad, and that’s saying something – as we all know, the Clippers have hit a lot of low points. Shaun Livingston’s knee injury was deeply horrifying, Elton Brand’s midnight flight was a gut punch, everything related to Donald Sterling was gross and offensive, and there’s so much more. But the difference on Monday night was simple – the Clippers, more than any other time in franchise history, had hope. Not anymore.
Roscoe Whalan (@RoscoeWhalan): It was just so quick. That’s what makes this worse than Houston last year, which was a disaster that happened in slow motion and we saw it coming. But injuries to not just one but two stars in the same game is cruel. For those injuries to come just hours after the door had been cracked open by Curry’s injury just compounded things further. In an afternoon, the Clippers went from a puncher’s chance to a real one to an afterthought again. It was the like the opposite emotions to the DeAndre Dallas Day last summer.
2. Multiple choice time. What’s your overarching feeling right now:
a. The Clippers are forever doomed;
b. Even if the Clippers bounce back and win this series, what’s the point?
c. Was that the last game we’ll see with CP3, Blake & DJ all on the court together as Clippers?
d. Al-Farouq Aminu should get the max.
Williams: C., because we live in the the hyper-accelerated, social media era of overreaction. I think part of the nostalgia for the 80’s derives from being able to claim your team and your players for longer than 4 years at a time. Also, Doc Rivers wasn’t anybody’s GM, and the world was kind of a better place for it. I can absolutely see good-time Glenn pulling the trigger on a deal for Rajon Rondo and Tony Allen (y’know, complete the set) or Kevin Garnett that will decimate the remainder of the Clippers’ draft picks for the duration of his tenure. Oy.
Mesirow: Oh boy. All of the above, but also none of the above – since Monday night I’ve mostly been doing my best to avoid toppling off the ledge and into the pit of nihilism and despair of options A and B. So instead I’m locked onto the horizon like I’m trying to avoid getting seasick, thinking about C, the future, and what the Clippers should do this offseason. I haven’t figured it out just yet.
Whalan: B & C. B because the nihilist in me can’t help but think it’d be a waste to win and then enter Round 2 against the defending champs sans you’re 1A & 1B stars. The ensuing bloodbath would be similar to the 2012 Second Round against the Spurs when the Clippers got swept. So what’s the point? And then, that leads me to thinking a lot about C. Is it time to break up the band? Five straight years of Playoff disappointments, a number of sizable cracks in the glass ceiling and some great highlights but not even a Western Conference Finals appearance to show for it. Maybe the Clippers rose to power at the wrong time with Golden State? Sigh.
3. Predict the Clippers starting 5 for tomorrow night.
Williams: Rivers-Redick-Mbah a Moute-Pierce-Jordan. It’s gonna be a bloodbath. Or, at least in this quadrant of L.A. sports fandom, an average Wednesday.
Mesirow: Rivers – Redick – Mbah a Moute – Green – Jordan. It’s not glamorous, and it’s not beautiful, there isn’t much play-making and there really isn’t a lot of shooting. Oh, did you think I was going to come up with a silver lining? Because I was just going to leave it there. Well O.K., how about this: that’s not a terrible defensive group, and going small with Green or the Prince at the four won’t kill them against the Aminu-Plumlee frontcourt.
Whalan: Rivers — Redick — Turkoglu, uh, Al Thornton and DeAndre Jordan? It’s not pretty. But guys, we’ve got the Sixth Man of the Year coming off the bench and if Paul Pierce takes a drink of that Truth syrup, maybe just maybe…