Klay Thompson throws shade at Doc Rivers & the Clippers


Since the Warriors’ championship victory in June, there has been tons of conversation about how ‘lucky’ they got. Take Doc Rivers‘ words to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who didn’t speak directly to the Warriors’ luck but luck in general when competiting in the Western Conference.

“You need luck in the West. Look at Golden State,” said Rivers to Lowe, here. “They didn’t have to play us or the Spurs.”

Klay Thompson, one-half of Golden State’s “Splash Brother” didn’t hold back in his response to the Clippers’ head coach and team president.

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  • “That sounds pretty bitter to me,” said Thompson following a Warriors practice. “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? So that just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1, too? Tell them I said that, too.”

    “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”

    By “couldn’t handle their business”, Thompson is referring to the Clippers’ inability to close out the Hosuton Rockets when up 3-1 in the Western Conference semi-finals, and instead of cruising to what would’ve been a very highly anticipated mathcup between the Warriors and Clippers in the conference finals, Los Angeles lost three consecutive games to Houston, abruptly ending their postseason.

    No one knows how a Warriors-Clippers or Warriors-Spurs series would’ve played out. If using the transition property, devoid of mass context, things played out as expected for the Warriors, as the Spurs lost to the Clippers who lost to the Rockets who eventually lost to the Warriors. Thompson brought up season series records to support the Warriors being superior to the Clippers (GSW won 3-1) which is a decent measurer but isn’t an end-all, be-all statistic when arguing one team over another. What we do know about a potential Clippers-Warriors series? It’d be fun, especially with Lance STephenson and Paul Pierce in the picture. Because the team’s hate each other, and there’s never a matchup between the two that doesn’t include a brief on-court scuffle, especially if Andrew Bogut is involved.

    Onto the Warriors being lucky, the hints at luck are often linked back to what Rivers brought up in his conversation with Zach Lowe, in that the Warriors didn’t play the Clippers or Spurs en route to the finals, and instead to Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, and Houston Rockets, who — including their Finals counterpart in the Cavaliers — all rostered injured point guards to some capacity.

    “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”

    But the thought process greatly undermines how good the Warriors were last season.

    In the regular season, the Warriors were winner of 67 games, tied for the most wins by a team since the 72-win Chicago Bulls with the 06-07 Dallas Mavericks, and posted the best net rating in the last 30 years since… you guessed it, Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.

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    And sure they received some breaks, but hitching the “lucky” tag onto the Warriors means we’d have to do the same to nearly every NBA champion in league history: the 2014 Spurs avoided a full-strength Thunder team as Serge Ibaka dealt with injury; the 2013 Heat won thanks in part to the best shot in NBA history, Ray Allen‘s three-pointer; the 2012 Heat were welcomed to an ‘easier’ path to the Finals with Derrick Rose gone with injury; etc, etc. The list goes on, whether it’s the 1958 Atlanta Hawks (then St. Louis) winning it all because of injury to Bill Russell or the Spurs winning it all in 1999 during the daunted-lockout season; it’s a thing that happened, and it doesn’t lessen any

    All-in-all, this is just part-308538 of the league’s biggest rivalry. Opposite of previous years, there’s a definite team with a leg-up in the beef, that being the Warriors having won a championship, and given the personalities on the team (Klay, Bogut, Draymond, etc.), they won’t shy away from rubbing it in the Clippers’ face, which means more fun for us.

    With all that said, Wednesday, Nov. 4th. On ESPN. It’s nothing close to the equivalency of defeating the other in a playoff series but it’s the first time these two teams face off in the regular season (and will do some days later on Nov. 19).

    I think it’ll be fun.

    Next: Is 2015 the last chance for the Clippers' Big 3?