A few days ago, there was a video on YouTube in which Stephen A. Smith accused and criticized the Los Angeles Clippers for intentionally losing two games to avoid the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs.
In the past two seasons, after LeBron James’ arrival to LA, a great rivalry started between the Clippers and the Lakers. Although Clippers won most of the direct matchups, the Lakers managed to win the title last season. This season, the team coached by Frank Vogel didn’t play as well as expected but it is still considered one of the toughest teams in the Western Conference.
Therefore, it is understandable why the Clippers wouldn’t want to meet the Lakers in the first round of playoffs. However, Kawhi Leonard and his teammates want to become champions, and to achieve that, they must win 16 games against four strong teams. They shouldn’t be afraid of battling with their rivals, but they should be excited for the opportunity to show everybody their quality and strength.
However, it looks like the Clippers didn’t plan very well. After avoiding the Lakers, they paired with the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. Luka Doncic played superbly in Game 1 and led his team to a 113-103 win in Staples Center. More than that, the Mavericks showed that they have the strength to get past the Clippers.
So, it will be a tough series for the Clippers. I’m curious if now they regret the decision to avoid the Lakers.