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Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 3 preview and game thread: The biggest game of the season

Tonight is a MUST WIN

2021 NBA Playoffs - Dallas Mavericks v LA Clippers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Tonight is the game of the year. It’s a must win. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in an NBA playoff series. The Clippers HAVE to win this game.

Game Information

When: Friday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. PT

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

How to watch/listen: ESPN, Bally Sports SoCal

Opposing perspective: Mavs Moneyball

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac

Mavericks: Luka Doncic, Josh Richardson, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber


Clippers: Serge Ibaka (lower back) — DOUBTFUL

Mavericks: JJ Redick (heel) — OUT

I’m worried. I’m frustrated.

I voiced all my frustrations on the Clips Nation podcast the other day, but I’m in complete shock as to how the Clippers find themselves down 2-0. I just don’t get it. As we talked about during the episode, only six percent of the time has a team come back from a 2-0 deficit in an NBA playoff series.

Six percent. Yeah, those aren’t good odds. The road team has won the first two games 31 times. 27 of those times they’ve gone on to win the series. The odds aren’t in the Clippers favor.

Their defense has been awful. Nobody aside from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have stepped up. It’s just been an embarrassing two games. With that being said, the Clippers could still somehow be up 2-0. They’ve been outplayed for about 95 percent of the series, but they’ve still had a chance to win both games. It’s hard to believe that we could be talking about the Clippers going up 3-0 in the series tonight. Instead, it’s the other way around.

This preview has pretty much turned into me voicing my frustration. As a lifelong Clippers fan, this is the most upset I can remember being during a series. The Clippers are too good of a team to be down 2-0 in the first round after having home-court advantage. There’s zero excuse for that.

Hopefully the last few days have been a wake-up call for LA. The players and Ty Lue seemed pretty calm the other day following the loss. Well, hopefully that translates onto the court. Even if the Clippers lose tonight and go down 3-0, I’ll still have a glimmer of hope. Not much, but more than zero percent.

Just don’t go down 3-0, how about that? Win tonight. If LA picks up the victory, they are right back in this series. It’s still a mountain to overcome, but the journey will be a whole lot easier.

I have faith. Clipper Nation, you should have faith as well.