Someone would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about soon-to-be former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s ban for life due to his outrageous racist comments that were recorded by his girlfriend. Despite the entire struggle, the Clippers were able to survive the biggest media distraction in NBA history to defeat the Golden State Warriors in seven games and advance to the next round in the playoffs.
“I’m just happy we pulled it out,” point guard Chris Paul said, according to ESPN. “It’s going to sound crazy, but it was all about tonight. Everything else was in the past. We didn’t dwell on all that stuff, and not to diminish how serious everything has been in the past week or so. It was all about basketball tonight.”
That attitude is exactly the reason Los Angeles was able to emerge victorious in a back-and-forth Game 7 that no one could have known the outcome until the very end. The Warriors were simply dominating the first two quarters and even had an eight-point lead at halftime, thanks in part to Stephen Curry’s four-point play. Even though the Clippers bent as far as they could they never broke, which is why they won the contest 126-121.
To say it was the biggest win in franchise history might be hitting the nail right on the head. For a team that has never won a conference title or NBA championship, Los Angeles took a huge step forward in doing so this season. It’s all about talent and team chemistry, but sometimes a team really needs momentum in their favor.
If the Clippers lost, no one would have thought any less of them. To go through all of the turmoil they had to endure the past week is something no team should deal with in the postseason. It’s something no team should have to deal with period. But to handle it the way the players and coaches did is all the evidence needed to know Los Angeles is made up of the right group of men.
They clearly have the talent with Paul and Blake Griffin taking over the show. They also have the necessary team chemistry to get the job done. Now they have all the momentum needed to charge their way to their first NBA Finals berth in team history.