So yesterday I dusted off the Clippers Crystal Ball (CCB) and took a look. It’s something I used to do somewhat regularly a few seasons back and was always surprised at the crystal balls accuracy. No idea why I was surprised though, I mean, its a crystal ball after all. I wasn’t expecting much yesterday mostly because it has been on the shelf for a while, but when I looked I saw this.
Clippers take Game 1 in a 124 – 107 victory. The Nuggets keep the game close in the first half, but the Clippers pull away and never look back after halftime. It wasn’t a dominate performance which is the scary realization for the Nuggets; these Clippers have another gear.Clippers Crystal Ball, as told to Jose Salviati
Final score was 120-97 Clippers. The CCB showed me a 17 point victory, the Clippers won by 23. CCB was within 10 points of the Nuggets total and 4 points of the Clippers. The game was close in the first half, the Nuggets actually held a 6 point lead at one point. It stayed close until about half way through the second quarter when the Clippers pulled away. Again, just like the CCB said.
Now, you can nit-pick here or there and I wouldn’t blame you. One could argue that it’s a crystal ball, shouldn’t it be able to get things 100% right since it’s looking into the future? Good question, but the science behind the CCB doesn’t exactly work like that. You see, it’s more a sneak peek at the future, not a long look. The longer the CCB sits on a shelf the more fuzzy that sneak peek is too. There’s a lot to this! Considering the years of inactivity though I’d say the CCB did pretty good!
I might dust off the CBB for another game in this series, stay tuned!
For now though, enjoy this victory Clippers Nation! It was not completely unexpected. The Nuggets played well against the Jazz, but they didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for the Clippers and, these Clippers are not the Jazz. Those two facts alone would have been enough to easily predict this outcome in game 1. The Clippers shot well, defended well and looked to be mostly in sync. Which, is the one scary thing for Denver and the teams left in the Bubble.
The Clippers looked to be MOSTLY in sync.
The CCB left us one final bit of wisdom before I put it back. It said tonight’s game was not a dominate performance by the Clippers. The score would seem to contradict that, but it’s true. The scary realization for the Nuggets is that these Clippers have another gear. What you saw tonight was the Clippers playing the way the Clippers can play. Nothing really spectacular about it.
- Kawhi Leonard had 29 points. Ok, good.
- Paul George had 19 points. Yawn.
- Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams combined for 25 points.
Each of those players was either just one bucket over their season average or below it! Let that sync in. These Clippers have another level. They can be even better than they were tonight.
Now, does that mean the series is over and the Clippers can finally say they reached a Conference Finals as a franchise. No, of course not. The Nuggets are still a talented NBA team and the Clippers will have games where they don’t play well. This is still a series. But, are the Clippers in good shape to win another three games and make their first Conference Finals, setting up either a match-up against the #1 ranked Los Angeles Lakers or a playoff re-match against the Houston Rockets who unceremoniously kept them from the Conference Finals in 2015?
Yes, they are in good shape. Very good shape!
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!