When the 2019-20 Clippers roster was put together, the goal was to compete for an NBA championship. The reigning Finals MVP (a two-time champion) and a top-3 finisher for MVP and DPOY in 2018-19 didn’t come together for anything less.
But there are steps to take en route to that goal, markers that this team has not been able to hit before. The Clippers had their highest regular-season finish in franchise history, earning the no. 2 seed for the first time. And now, they are one game away from achieving another milestone: making the conference finals.
The Clippers made the conference semifinals three times this past decade. Each time, they won more games than the previous effort, but they topped out at three in 2015 despite leading the Rockets 3-1 in that series. This current roster has made it clear that there is no celebration for making the conference finals, that their sights are set much higher, but it cannot be overlooked that a historic moment is on the line today. Let’s see if the Clippers can seize it.
Here is what you need to know for how to watch Game 5.
Where: The Field House, Orlando, Florida
When: Friday, September 11 at 3:30 p.m. PT
How to watch: TNT, TSN5
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac
Nuggets: Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic
Nuggets: Will Barton (right knee), Vlatko Cancar (left foot) — OUT
More news for Friday:
- Sean Highkin has a great story on bench players having to play-act as superstars during practice. Doc Rivers has some interesting thoughts on this approach.
- Andrew Greif spoke with Dejan Milojevic, who used to coach both Zubac and Jokic, about watching his former pupils in the NBA.
- Nekias Duncan wrote about what the Nuggets need from Michael Porter Jr.
- Now that families have joined the players in Orlando, there is bubble school.
- Doc Rivers is going to be part of a new Netflix series called The Playbook about successful coaches.
- A project that is very near and dear to my heart: Caleb Daniels charted the Clippers’ record in the bubble based on what the coaches are wearing.