The Los Angeles Clippers enter the postseason as the fourth seed, pitted against the Utah Jazz in what should be a competitive first-round series. If they do make it past Utah, the Clippers would likely face the Golden State Warriors, making it unlikely that this will be the year they finally reach the Western Conference Finals.
The Clippers are currently in the best stretch of their franchise history, having reached the postseason in six straight seasons. But none of those appearances have been met with much success, with no semifinal to show for it.
Despite the relative failures in the playoffs, Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers says the team itself is never thinking of previous years, as he told reporters on Thursday.
Following via Broderick Turner of the LA Times:
“I think it weighs on you guys. Really. I don’t think it weighs on us at all. I said that yesterday. I don’t think I’ve ever gone into the playoffs thinking about what we didn’t do last year.”
That’s obviously a healthy mentality heading into the playoffs and there should be no doubt that the Clippers are mostly focused on the task at hand. But to say they’re not thinking about the previous failures at all seems like hyperbole.
At some point, the Clippers organization may decide to blow up the team in order to rebuild with a fresh core, if they consider this one stale and unable to win a title. Similarly, key players on the team (this season consisting of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and JJ Redick) may be considering leaving the team in order to pursue a championship elsewhere.
It’s safe to assume both parties have considered both of those scenarios. Even if it’s just in the back of their minds regarding their future together, there’s just no way that the Clippers have had no thoughts about their lack of success in the playoffs.
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