In what has to be one of the most ill-timed controversies in the history of sports. The Los Angeles Clippers had to get back to what they do best. Play basketball. Of course, with a controversy such as this one involving Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, it has to be extremely difficult to keep focused on just ‘playing basketball’. Questions were rampant about what, if anything the players would do in protest of the alleged racial remarks and statements made by Sterling in a phone call to V. Stiviano. A woman Sterling has reportedly been in an affair with since 2010.
In a show of solidarity during pre-game warm ups, Clippers players threw their warmup jackets on the court in unison, and turned their warmup jerseys inside out. As not to show the Clippers logo on the outside. The move by the team was well done, and I hope that Clippers fans at Staples Center will follow suit for the Game 5 matchup with the Golden State Warriors. As for Game 4, the Clippers got out to an understandably terrible start, but then were able to recover some and make the game competitive for a while. In the end, there were several names that were instrumental in helping the Warriors tie this series 2-2 with a resounding victory over L.A. However, none of them were named Sterling, and they all played for Golden State.
Names like Curry, Iguodala, Lee, and Barnes were the names that did in the Clips on Sunday. The Warriors were led by Stephen Curry, who connected on 7 of his 14 three-point attempts, and led all scorers with 33 points. Curry, opened the game on fire, as he hit 5 of those treys in the first quarter. Andre Iguodala added 22 points. David Lee, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes each had 15.
In the early moments of the game, the Clippers looked like a team that had their minds elsewhere. However, as the game went on, the Clippers seemed to settle down and actually competed. The problem was; they were playing a Warriors teams that would not be denied.
This has now become, essentially a 3 game series. The 4 games have been split, with each team winning a game on the others home floor. So, who has the advanatage? I still say the Clippers. If the series goes seven, two of those games will be played in L.A. Plus, Andrew Bogut’s absence is still a big deal. Especially, when trying to handle Blake Griffin and the Clippers stout inside attack. It will be interesting to see what happens when the series shifts back to the Staples’ Center in Los Angeles, not only for the action after tip-off, but also for what happens before. Surely, there will be protests of some sort by the fans. How will those protests affect how Game 5 is played?
The NBA Playoffs have been incredible so far. It’s a shame that a controversy like this has been such a distraction. Not only to this series, or to the Clippers, but to the playoffs as a whole……