There are many differences between last year’s LA Clippers and this year’s team. I’ve written that the biggest is that the Clips are winning games they’re supposed to win, while Ty Lue has referenced the chemistry.
Another important distinction is that, this year, the Clips are complaining less, when we definitely heard from our guys last year when they weren’t happy. This season has been a much quieter one on that front. Which is more than we can say for some other teams, including one in Los Angeles…
Unlike other teams, the LA Clippers are just avoiding the play in tournament, not complaining about it.
Regardless of your opinion on the play in tournament, it’s notable that people who were very in favor of the tourney before they realized it might affect them are now vocally against it. From LeBron James himself
“Whoever came up with that s*** needs to be fired.”
LeBron isn’t the only one, though. We’ve heard complaints from the Dallas Mavericks as well, specifically from Luka Doncic and Mark Cuban, even though Cuban happily voted in favor of it at the start of the season.
Look, I understand that injuries have been prevalent this season. The Clippers haven’t been exempt from that; April 8 was the last time the Clips had a starting lineup of Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris and Ivica Zubac.
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When it comes to stars, the Clips have been luckier than the Lakers, but much less lucky than the Mavericks. Kawhi and PG have missed 18 and 16 games, respectively, compared to 21 and 35 for LeBron and Anthony Davis. On the other hand, Luka Doncic has only missed six games, and Kristaps Porzingis 24.
The Lakers, Mavericks and Clippers have all had important players miss time (although the Mavs less so than the others). The difference? Only two of those teams have suddenly started complaining about the play in tournament.
Even counting the three game skid the Clippers currently are on, they’re 19-8 since the All-Star Break, compared to 18-12 for the Mavs and 12-15 for the Lakers.
The Clippers are hearing the other teams complain about the play in tournament now that it’s affecting those teams. But the Clips have never been in the position to moan about it; instead, they’ve won enough to not even need to worry about it.