LA Clippers have to perform with their backs against the wall

LA Clippers Paul George (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Paul George (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

The LA Clippers will have to perform in game five with their back against the wall.

Tonight, we find out what the LA Clippers are made of. Can Paul George silence his doubters? Can Doc Rivers adjust and make the right decisions? Both are important questions and honestly, at least one of them needs to be answered correctly for the Clippers to win.

In every game, the Clippers have had a real chance of winning solely based on their talent. Standout performances by Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams were squandered by poor coaching and execution. Common themes that have led to the series being tied at two games apiece.

For game five, the team should have all the motivation they need to turn things around. They’ve been put on notice and now the entire league is watching (judging by the way social media exploded after Luka Doncic hit his game-winning shot the last time around). Going down 3-2 isn’t necessarily the end of the world, but it feels safe to assume that this is a must-win scenario for the Clippers.

Related Story. Clippers need to spoil the rise of Luka Doncic. light

Players who haven’t had their best stuff need to show up ready to play and the coaching staff needs to put them in positions to be successful. There will be no excuse for allowing Dallas to exploit the same mismatches they have all series. Montrezl Harrell should not be on the floor with Boban and Reggie Jackson can’t be repeatedly switched onto Luka–especially in crunch time. Allowing things like that to happen is a recipe for disaster and we’ve ample evidence to support it.

We need to see a Paul George with the confidence of a player that would actually give himself the nickname, ‘Playoff P.’ Whether or not he’s hot from deep, PG needs to be shooting in rhythm. There can’t be any hesitation before he rises up. If the shots still aren’t dropping, he’ll need to stay aggressive and get his numbers in other ways. Driving to the rim, getting fouled, etc. He’s far too talented to rely solely on the three-point line.

Playing Ivica Zubac starter-level minutes will do a lot to remedy the Clippers of what’s ailed them in three of the first four games. Without Zu on the floor, it’s been open season at the rim for the likes of Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Seth Curry. Seth Curry! That can’t happen when Luka Doncic is also doing his thing.

It’s critical that Doc Rivers recognizes the adjustments that need to be made. As has been stated, the Clippers are talented enough that even if they aren’t 100% on top of their game, they should be able to take care of business. So long as they come with the right gameplan. If not, we’ll be having to have some serious conversations of a different nature.

Next. The Clippers need Patrick Beverley. dark

Let’s think positive for now, though. The Clippers have two of the three best players in this series and could by all means be closing it out in the next few days. Let’s hope for some quality Los Angeles Clippers basketball and throw all of our support their way. If the boys are going to get out of this series and forge ahead with their aspirations for an NBA title, they’ll need Clipper Nation behind them.