Around the Web: the Clippers’ Game 6 collapse


Here are a series of clippings and excerpts from writers around the web on the Clippers Game 6 collapse to the Rockets.

Clips’ Playoff Meltdown Will Test Just How Much Blake Griffin and Co. Have Grown [Bleacher Report]

"Some of the very same issues cropped up in rough first-round moments against San Antonio, another full-length series that Griffin often dominated but in which Paul needed to push to get the Clippers to the finish.Paul didn’t have it on Thursday night, coming up short on two of his key jumpers during Houston’s push. Griffin missed all five of his shots in the fourth quarter and committed three fouls. He also did some standing around on defense, as you’ll notice from time to time from him—but for it to happen at this time was inexcusable."

It’s a Bird, It’s a Pain: The Confounding Powers of Blake Griffin [Grantland]

"He has improved every aspect of his play, but finding the right ratio hasn’t been easy. When he over-relies on post play, he gets predictable, but when he stresses his increasingly plausible midrange game, he drifts away from what he’s best at (i.e., taking revenge on the rim for murdering his great-grandfather in a past life). His court vision has quietly grown into something marvelous, as if playing with Chris Paul unlocked something in him; he senses angles and possibilities most players don’t see. (Reminder: He plays the 4.) But when he looks to distribute the ball, his paint-crashing duties suffer. His struggle over the past few years has been to reroute his instincts around the correct balance of capabilities. It’s like watching someone calibrate a complex machine. When it’s not working, the readout goes Connection Failure (Status Code: WTF). But when he’s on, it’s Adjust dial … adjust dial … adjust dial … LEBRON JAMES."

3-Pointer: What you need to know about Rockets-Clippers Game 6 [CBS Sports]

"The Clippers climbed inside of themselves and just hid from this game. Doc Rivers said afterwards “No one wanted to shoot.” And that’s true. From Chris Paul, who was one quarter away from vanquishing the narratives about his playoff foibles once and for all, to Blake Griffin who was faced with stiff double-teams, to J.J. Redick, to Jamal Crawford who missed all of his four shots, most of them terrible, in the fourth. The decision not to bring Matt Barnes back cost the Clippers, dearly."

After so much progress, history still looms over Clippers [ESPN LA]

"You could hear the moans from longtime season-ticket holders when Chris Paul strained his left hamstring in Game 7 of their first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs. The Clippers fought back from 2-1 and 3-2 series deficits to force a Game 7 only to see their star player sidelined with an injury.It was the most Clippers-like way to ruin a storybook ending, but then Paul returned and gutted out a game-winning shot to dethrone the champions. It was not only the biggest win in franchise history, but it changed the narrative of the team. The cursed franchise was now legitimate a championship contender."

As Rockets returned, Clippers reverted [ESPN]

"The playoffs are all about getting back to what you do well in the regular season. It becomes a bigger challenge, with teams locked in on your tendencies and familiar with the way you play (notice how hard it has been for Atlanta’s Kyle Korver to get open looks lately). But if you can find your way back to your way, you can prevail. That’s how the Warriors regained the series against the Memphis Grizzlies, and it’s why the Rockets have extended this series to seven games.The Rockets returned. The Clippers, meanwhile, reverted."

On their way to history, Clippers instead add to inglorious past [LA TIMES]

"One moment, the Clippers were winning the semifinal series four games to two and moving to within four wins of a spot in the NBA Finals. The next moment, they were hesitating and gasping and falling backward into paralyzing reluctance and tentativeness."