The Los Angeles Clippers franchise is becoming one of the biggest laughingstocks in sports after another season that fell well below expectations.
The Clippers blew halftime leads in Games 5, 6 and 7 to the Denver Nuggets and lost the series after leading 3-1. It’s the second time the Clippers have blown a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals in the last six seasons.
This is the 50th season in the Clippers' franchise history, and they have never made the Western Conference finals. They are now 0-8 in games to clinch the Western Conference semifinals.
Social media made a mockery of the Clippers' loss. All season long, NBA fans discussed a Western Conference finals meeting between the two Los Angeles teams, but only one held up its end of the bargain.
Patrick Beverley may be the most outspoken player on the Clippers' roster. He and Paul George teased Damian Lillard earlier in the bubble when the Portland star missed pivotal free throws against the Clippers.
Lillard didn’t forget. He and backcourt teammate C.J. McCollum teamed up one last time to get their revenge. George shot 4-of-16 and finished with 10 points in 38 minutes.
One of Lillard’s tweet has garnered more than 100,000 retweets.
“@patbev21 I guess I should extend this Cancun invite since I haven’t made my arrangements yet,” Lillard tweeted Tuesday night.
The response comes from when Lillard mentioned that he had eliminated Beverley and George from the postseason before after they mocked him for missing free throws on Aug. 8. “And you getting sent home this year,” George commented, adding, “Respect.” Beverley followed up George’s comment by saying, “Cancun on 3."
The Nuggets earned this series win, and no credit should be taken from them. They will be a formidable opponent for the Lakers, and the Jamal Murray-Nikola Jokic duo has been just as good as LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the postseason.
However, the Clippers assembled a roster loaded with talent. Kawhi Leonard had just won a championship, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams won the last two Sixth Man of the Year awards and George finished top-three in MVP voting last season. This season will sting Clippers fans for a while, and the Clippers curse lives on.
The worst part? Kawhi Leonard only signed a three-year deal, and he’s eligible to opt out after next season. In reality, the Clippers may have just one more chance at a championship, which is devastating when you consider they gave up five first-round draft picks for this opportunity.
Bam says no to Tatum
Bam Adebayo was given the nickname “Bam” because he was watching the Flintstones and flipped over a table at the age of one like the character Bamm-Bamm Rubble.
That strength was on display when he needed all of his wrist and arm muscles to complete one of the best blocks in NBA playoffs history. Jayson Tatum slid past Jimmy Butler and appeared to have an easy dunk before Adebayo rose up and met Tatum at the rim.
All of the momentum was in Tatum’s favor as he attacked the basket full speed. The strength to deny that basketball is only something that someone named after a strong TV character could do.
Many players and other basketball figures took notice of Adebayo’s block.
A Peddy buzzer-beater saves the Mercury season
When a team waives someone, it doesn’t expect that player to put them out in the playoffs a month later.
The Phoenix Mercury have one of the best backcourts in the WNBA, so as expected, most eyes were on Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith as the Mercury trailed by two in the final 5.8 seconds.
Taurasi threw the ball to Diggins-Smith, and that was the last time the Washington Mystics' defense let her touch the ball. Diggins-Smith had defenders swarmed around her as the seconds winded down. She slung a cross-court pass in the corner to Shey Peddy. Peddy ball faked a defender and nailed a corner three as time expired to eliminate the Mystics, her former team.
Peddy is a former Temple basketball star and Atlantic Ten Player of the Year. She played 2019 with the Mystics and nine games in 2020 before being released. Revenge was sweet on Tuesday night.
“They released me, so for me to hit that shot against them, it’s just like a fairy-tale moment,” Peddy said. “I don’t think you can write it up any better than that."
Peddy was drafted in the second round of the WNBA Draft in 2012. She grinded her way through by playing basketball overseas, and she finally got her shot in 2019. Now in two short seasons, she has a WNBA championship and a buzzer-beater.