Game 4 was exciting. If you are a fan of basketball you love watching a good game end on a last second, crazy shot. Watching Luka Doncic launch from deep, following the arc of the ball and realizing it went in was… special. Sure, it’s tough to accept that if you’re a Clippers fan, but if you’re a fan of the game you appreciate the moment.
Game 5 was more the type of game Clippers fans could appreciate, and kinda needed.
Not because the Clippers won, but because of how the Clippers won. The Mavericks jumped out to an early 7 point lead and that seemed to upset the Clippers. They took the lead back about halfway through the first quarter and never looked back. The Clippers won that first quarter by 19 points. They won the second quarter by 5 points. Then, for good measure, they took the third by a single point and ended the night with an 18 point victory in the fourth and final quarter.
Paul George was very candid in his post game interview about his recent struggles. Before this game he admitted that the series wouldn’t be as close as it is if he were playing better. In this game, he played better. George finished with 35 pts on 4 for 8 shooting from three. In the interview George mentioned being in a dark place and not being able to properly adjust to playing in the Bubble. It was a very candid interview that kinda set the tone for the post-game night.
Before this game, much like in yesterdays games, the players and coaches made a concerted effort to draw attention off the game and to an issue with significantly greater importance, the shooting of another unarmed Black man. Players from the Raptors and Celtics both made it clear that change was needed in their interviews earlier tonight. Then, in his post game interview Clippers Coach Doc Rivers removed his mask to drive home his point. Instead of trying to encapsulate what he said, Ill let him say it. If you haven’t watched it, please take a few minutes and watch below. If you’ve already seen it, watch it again.
The Clippers won and now lead 3-2 in their first round match-up against the Mavericks. This is good news if you’re a Clippers fan. For fans of humanity, decency, fairness and justice, the news lately has not been as good. Clearly, the weight of the platform is weighing on some players in the Bubble and I never want to forget that they are there to entertain us. Yes, they are getting paid and paid well, but the fact is, they are human and struggling with the news that seems to keep coming as much anyone else.
The game is a buffer for them and for us as fans. I am grateful the NBA is back and I appreciate the struggle these players, coaches, media, staff and others are going through to help us all forget, at least for a few hours. Forget about the pandemic, the heat, the fires, the injustice and more. But now that the game is over we have to remember to do whatever we can do to both effect change (create new changes) and affect change (to influence or modify changes already made).
The game is a buffer for them and for us as fans. I am grateful the NBA is back and I appreciate the struggle these players, coaches, media, staff and others are going through to help us all forget, at least for a few hours. Forget about the pandemic, the heat, the injustice and more. But now that the game is over we have to remember to do whatever we can do to both effect change (create new changes) and affect change (to influence or modify changes already made).
This is a sports site and I’m sorry for veering off track, but sometimes, the score is secondary. Tonight, is one of those times.
Jose has written for Bleacher Report, Clipperholics, OC Weekly and wrote a series of articles covering the 2010 NBA Finals for the LA Times. He lives in Southern California and is excited to watch thePeachBasket grow!