If it weren’t for the Paul Pierce era, the Clippers would be receiving more heat. ESPN was rather casual about the series defeat, but anyone who has followed the NBA for the last 5 years saw today’s game as the end of an era. Watching Chris Paul transform from a delightful, cerebral star into a whiny, primadonna who hasn’t won anything has actually been painful for my personal basketball fandom. His talent is undeniable, just like the Clippers’ roster, but it’s apparent that it’s time to move on. Game 7 embodied that same notion. CP3 played brilliantly all series, just like the Clippers do every regular season, but then when it really mattered he faded and so did the team. Obviously, they would not have made it to a game 7 without his stellar play, yet he cannot be regarded as a superstar without being held to the superstar standard — winning in the playoffs.
ESPN has been quick to mention Blake’s injury, but let’s be honest: Gobert did not play in games 1–3, Hayward missed game 4 and the Clippers found a way to lose three times at Staples. Play the blame game all you want, they got outcoached, and outwilled by a better TEAM.