Chris Paul Feels He and Los Angeles Clippers Were Unlucky
The Los Angeles Clippers were a consistent contender in the mid-2010s with the ‘Lob City’ lineup spearheaded by All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Between 2011 and 2017, the Clippers won nearly 66% of their games. There were only two other teams that won more games than them. These teams were consistent NBA Finals performers San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. During that time span, four teams managed to win the title but the Clippers were not one of them.
They never made the Western Conference Finals because they always had to face off against the title contenders. The Spurs, Warriors and the James Harden-led Houston Rockets were the teams that always got in their way.
They also struggled mightily with injuries to both Griffin and Paul. Without those two players, their offence would have been lost because the third star of the team, DeAndre Jordan was a center who mostly focused on defence and receiving alley-oop passes from Paul.
There were some missteps in roster management. There were some lowlights in Doc Rivers’ handling of the roster including when they traded a first-round pick with Jared Dudley. The first-round pick would have been valuable in other trades.
Rivers was also accused of nepotism in the past when they traded for his son Austin Rivers. He developed in a consistent player in the rotation but it hurt the team culture because some of the players lost some respect for their coach/team president.
Paul himself said that he and the team were unlucky with all of the situations they were a part of. They did not win a title because they had a lot of unfortunate events. The star guard said, ‘Doc used to always say in order to win a championship, you gotta be lucky. We never were lucky. I don’t think the Donald Sterling thing had anything to do with our shortcomings as a team. It was definitely a bump in the road, something unexpected, but that’s life’.
It was unfortunate because the team had a lot of promise. They had a complete lineup with great offensive players and talented defenders. The Lob City lineup has since left the team and is helping their new squads.
Words: Cholo Martin