Driving on a Portland player before his broken metacarpal bone in his right hand ended his season. Photo courtesy of cbc.ca
This won’t take too long; it’s all quite simple and straightforward…
For all intents and purposes, the Los Angeles Clippers’ season ended when the metacarpal bone on Chris Paul’s right hand fractured during the Clippers’ loss to the Portland Trailblazers in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
I know that Clipper Nation and the passionate folks who make up that fan base do not want to hear that.
I fully understand that many, if not most, of those enthusiastic diehards are thinking and saying stuff like:
“We can overcome this!”
“This is a great team – look at how we did without Blake Griffin!”
“Don’t give up on these Clippers!”
Let me make something crystal clear…
I like these Clippers.
I am VERY impressed and proud of how they rose from being an absolute joke of a franchise with a clueless, bigoted owner to become one of the NBA’s upper echelon teams.
They have certainly taken Los Angeles from the Lakers as far as who the basketball power in town is, and I don’t want to hear from Laker fans about their 16 banners hanging from Staples Center’s rafters and how the Clippers don’t have any.
Remember that song, “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”
Heck, those Lakers don’t even have a coach!
But enough about them; let’s get back to what this broken bone of CP3’s means to these Clips…
I’ll put it in three words:
THEY. ARE. SCREWED.
As much as I hate to say it, that’s my honest opinion.
Clipper Nation will point to how their team won around two-thirds of their games in Griffin’s absence, and how they can do it again without Chris Paul.
But here’s the very significant difference…
Griffin was a forward who had DeAndre Jordan to more than adequately get needed rebounds, which he did.
When Griffin was out, those Clippers had the relative luxury of having, as at least some of their opponents teams who they were clearly better than, who they could beat with relative ease.
Meanwhile, Paul’s injury came at the utmost worst time.
Against a team (in this case, Portland) that is just as desperate as the Clips to play in the NBA Finals in a couple of months.
And it’s MUCH more difficult to adequately replace a point guard than it is to replace a power forward.
That is my explanation for the curse of this club rearing its ugly head once again.
And why it would not be surprising – at all – if Portland won this series and made it official in ending the Clippers’ campaign.
Which would once again leave everyone involved, from owner Steve Ballmer on down, frustrated over their inability to crack a ceiling that’s rapidly turning from glass to concrete.
To state the obvious, this injury to Chris Paul is a very bad turn of events.
And I truly don’t feel that these Clippers will be able to overcome this, because it’s too significant a loss.
The only thing left to say is what Brooklyn Dodger fans used to say at the end of every season with the exception of 1955…
“WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR!”
In a reinforcement of my convictions of the Clippers being done for the year, it was announced that Blake Griffin reinjured the quad muscle that kept him out for over forty games during the Game 4 loss to Portland, and like CP3 is out for the season.
Clippers curse, indeed!
Chris Paul during a game in Philadelphia against the 76ers earlier this year. Photo courtesy of clipperholics.com