The L.A. Clippers intentionally lost their last 2 games of the NBA regular season this year. They did this to avoid playing the L.A. Lakers in the 1st round of the playoffs. Instead they chose to play the Dallas Mavericks, who they thought would be an easier opponent. So far, the Clippers have lost the first 2 games of the playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks. On their home court, SMH.
I’m not a fan of either team, but there’s a couple good lessons here.
Face a challenge head on, instead of avoiding it. Taking the easier route isn’t always the best option. Taking the harder challenge first, can actually bring out your best performance and solve the problem faster. If you lose, you lose. So be it. If you give it your all, it’ll bring out the best in you. But if you run away from it, you’re basically lowering your power, just for the sake of it being easier. This isn’t the mindset of a champion in my opinion. I understand the strategy of winning a longer war and not just a battle. But in this case, it’s one example of how that mindset could backfire on you.
We’ll see if the Clippers can come back from a 0-2 deficit. If they somehow manage a comeback and win the series, they’ll have redemption from last year’s embarrassing loss against the Denver Nuggets, who came back from a 3-1 deficit to steal the 1st round series. If not, they’ll be the laughing stock franchise of the NBA. Not for getting eliminated in the 1st round once, but twice, by 2 teams that (on paper), didn’t have the same caliber of stars in their starting lineup. The coach will be fired and they’ll dismantle the entire team. NBA talk show hosts will turn it into a comedy. It’s already happening.
Sometimes there’s teams that look great on paper, but can’t finish come crunch time. The pressure is on for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, statistically the best 2-way(offensive + defensive combo) guards in the NBA. As of now, those stats have no meaning. Luka Doncic, who is 22 years old and in his 3rd year, is dropping 30+ point, triple doubles on 2 of the best wing defenders in the game. Never underestimate your opponent.