Happy Thursday Clips Nation! The Regular season has ended, and the Clippers finally know who they will face in the first round. In fact, the last week has been so stressful and confusing, that I am ready for the relaxation of the playoffs. Playoff seeding isn't always like it has been this year. In fact, teams usually know who they will be facing with 1 or 2 games remaining in the season, giving them a chance to rest key players and recover from minor injuries. Oh, well. While you wait for the playoffs to begin, enjoy this week's Clippers History.
#TWiCH Record (regular season)
#TWiCH Record (playoffs)
And now, this week's stories:
The Braves entered the 1976 playoffs as the underdog against George McGinnis and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Braves would win both road games, to win the series 2 - 1 (the first round was a 3 game series back in those days). They would face the Boston Celtics in the second round, and lose 4 - 2.
This marked the begining of one of the longest tenures of a NBA executive in the modern NBA. Elgin Baylor was a great Los Angeles Laker, and Donald Sterling must have thought that some of his winning ways would rub off on the Clippers (although he would testify in 2011 that he didn't know that Elgin Baylor was a basketball star). Baylor would go on to have one of the most unsuccessful runs as a NBA executive (although he won executive of the year once in 2006).
The 1991-92 Clippers season was a fun one. They started the season with Mike Schuler as the head coach, going 21-24 before he was fired midway in the season. Then they would hire Larry Brown, who had been fired by the Spurs twice earlier in the season. Brown would lead the Clippers to a 23-12 finish, and the team would make the playoffs for the first time since moving west from Buffalo.
It seems that every time there is a playoff seeding controversy, the Clippers are involved. Back in 2006, the Clippers finished the season with the 5th best record in the Western Conference. This would typically result in them not having home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. But to their advantage, the NBA had a rule that the 3 division winners would be awarded the top 3 seeds in the playoffs, regardless of records. The Denver Nuggets happened to be the division winner for the Northwest. They had a worse record than all but 1 of the playoff teams, and Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy saw this as a loophole to get home court in the first round. Instead of trying to win out to get home court advantage, he decided to have the team lose out, dropping a game against the Seattle Sonics, and then again against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers were successful in getting to the 6 seed and getting home court advantage against the Denver Nuggets, which they took advantage of, winning the series 4-1. In the off-season, the NBA would change the rule to fix this loophole, only guaranteeing division winners a top 4 seed.
The 2009-10 Clippers season was doomed from the start. Star rookie Blake Griffin injured his knee in the final preseason game, and would go on to miss the entire season. Mike Dunleavy, would be fired as coach, to the delight of the fans. His replacement was Assistant Coach Kim Hughes. Hughes would take over the team, and lead them to a horrible 8-25 record down the stretch, leaving many Clippers fans wishing that they had never demanded Dunleavy to be fired.
There you have it, This Week in Clippers History. Hope you enjoyed. Be sure to check back next Thursday for more #TWiCH. Now, to celebrate the times the Clippers made the playoffs this week, enjoy:
Kool & the Gang - Celebration