Sunday shows the LA Clippers have nothing to worry about in playoffs

LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Despite the eventual loss to the other Los Angeles team, the LA Clippers should be feeling confident after Sunday’s game against the Lakers.

Could Sunday’s game against the Lakers have gone much worse for the LA Clippers? It felt like Murphy’s Law was in full effect – everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.

Longtime punchline Avery Bradley went off for 24 points on 6-12 from the three. LeBron and AD combined for 58. Meanwhile, the Clippers shot 7-31 from 3 and (with the exception of PG and Trezz) never felt like they could get a bucket at will. And you know what?

I still am not worried in the slightest about this team come playoff time. And it’s for all those reasons above. Almost literally everything went right for the Lakers and wrong for the Clippers. And still, it was only a 9 point game against the 1 seeded Lakers.

Players like Bradley don’t go off as he did often. He’s averaging 8 points per game, and today he tripled that. That’s not gonna happen four times in seven games. When you’re playing a team like the Lakers, you have to accept that their stars are gonna get theirs and you make the role players beat you. In this one game, the role players beat us.

Perhaps, the argument goes, Doc’s rotations weren’t up to snuff. And yeah, that’s probably true. It was puzzling to see Lou out there toward the end of the game when the team needed defense more than offense. But that also might have been somewhat planned.

Experimentation is the name of the game in the regular season. You have to figure out what works and what didn’t work. And after today’s game, we can say that some of the things Doc tried didn’t work. (The flip side, of course, is that they still almost did!)

Rotations can absolutely change come playoff time. And now we know that, in a tight game, maybe Patrick Beverley is the better choice at the one. Maybe Shamet or Patterson need some more run. The only way you figure this out is by trying it!

So really, despite the fact that we lost, I’m not very worried at all. And I don’t think anybody else should be. We weathered just about the worst storm that could have been thrown at a healthy Clippers squad, and we still almost came out on top.

Hot. The Lakers are scared of the Clippers. light

If that happens four times in seven games? Sure, then some worry sets in. If over a playoff series, Marcus Morris, Sr. and Reggie Jackson are consistently combining to go 3-16 from the field then we can start talking about worrying.

Not much of a chance of that happening, though. And even if it does, we’d also have to count on a guy like Avery Bradley catching fire. Not to mention a normally 73% free throw shooting team hitting 86% of their free throws.

Finals contenders don’t win every game. Even the Kevin Durant Warriors had losses of 89-110 against the Grizzlies or 110-132 against the Nuggets. It happens to everyone. One loss against the Lakers doesn’t change the fact that, when totally healthy, the Clippers are now 10-1.

Is it a guarantee that the Clippers are gonna win the title? No. But in the West, we’re seeing that a fully healthy Clippers squad is hard to beat. It takes an extreme amount of luck – more luck than anybody could hope for in a playoffs series.

Very few teams scare me in the playoffs, and even then they only really scare me if we’re depleted by injuries in the series. If this run of good health holds, I think we have little to worry about. And if we run into that other LA team in the playoffs..?

Next. Joakim Noah makes this roster complete. dark

Even still, I’m a little afraid to put out a prediction for a Lakers/Clippers series, but maybe the first letter of each paragraph of this article will tell the story?