With the Clippers trailing Dallas 2-0 in the first round, it’s clear that our most optimistic predictions about this series were misguided. The Clippers have not looked the part of the better team against the Mavericks, despite having homecourt advantage and winning five more games during the regular season. Instead, the Clippers perpetually look a step slow as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have both been outplayed by Luka Dončić.
As such, it was time for a reckoning on the latest episode of the Clips Nation podcast. Your hosts Sabreena Merchant and Blake Harris tried to figure out what exactly they got wrong about this series in their previews and why Dallas has been so much more successful than expected.
After attempting to dissect the problem, Sabreena and Blake try to offer some solutions. Some of them involve schematics of the team’s defensive scheme on Dončić and other suggestions involve rotation changes, but mostly it comes down to how hard the Clippers play.
What’s scary is the Clippers are facing some long odds, as only six percent of teams down 2-0 have ever come back to win a best-of-seven in the NBA playoffs. The rate is actually a little higher among teams who lose the first two at home — four out of 31 have won the series in that situation — but this still isn’t where the team hoped to be. Sabreena and Blake have some guesses about how the Clippers will respond, but given the accuracy of their pre-series predictions, it’s hard to be sure.
You can listen to all that and more in the full episode embedded below, and to make sure you never miss a single show moving forward, subscribe to the Clips Nation podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.
More news for Thursday:
- Michael Pina wrote about how this NBA season forced the league to reckon with mental health. It’s well worth your time.
- Marc Stein has an interesting perspective on Michael Jordan’s second act as an owner.
- Ramona Shelburne examines the potentially cursed Battle of L.A.
- He may be on the opposing team, but Boban Marjanović remains the most beloved man in the league. Sam Borden explains why.
- John Hollinger tries to understand what the Clippers were doing on defense in Game 2.
- On our site, Alicia outlined the team’s internal concerns with the defense.