It was just a few days ago where the news broke of Los Angeles Clippers star and team captain Kawhi Leonard was to be held out of game 5 against the Utah Jazz in the western conference semifinals matchup and could possibly be out even longer with a right knee sprain.
That was the moment that the majority of the sports world including myself wrote off the Clippers thinking that there would be no possibility of the team getting past a red hot Utah Jazz with a super red hot Donovan Mitchell.
Then game 5 took place and the Clippers showed us all that it was possible and that Paul George could still lead a team to a big pivotal win and the Clippers got the victory with a score of 119 to 111. The team even held Donovan Mitchell to just 21 points after he had a streak of 35 points or more per game for 5 games straight.
Going into game 6 the majority of the watchers believed that the last game could have been a fluke, Once again including myself thought there could be no way the Clippers could double up on the previous win and end the series here without Kawhi on the floor and that there would be no way Donovan Mitchell and the leagues newly crowned defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert would let this series end that night. Once again, we were wrong!
All playoffs we have seen the Clippers prove themselves to be one of the most resilient teams in playoff history and storm back after going down 0-2 in the 1st round of the western conference matchup against the dark horse team, the Dallas Mavericks. After going down those 2 games we saw the Clippers go on a two-game run themself to tie the series up 2-2. Then lost the next game to then be faced with an elimination game 6 but once again the Clippers showed their resiliency and pulled off the win to send the series to a game 7. The Clippers took the round-winning victory to send themself to the western conference semifinals eliminating the Mavericks and young superstar Luka Doncic.
Fast forward all the way to now and the Clippers once again were faced with being down 0-2, this time to the Utah Jazz and clawed all the way back to bring the series to a game 6.
Going into that game 6 the Clippers were the host and the game took place in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Although even with the clear-cut win in the previous game, The Clippers were the underdog of a -135 on the Moneyline odds. Once again me and the majority of the sports would thought this would be another playoff series to get sent to game 7 following the Nets and Bucks on the other side of the coast.
The Clippers suffered an early scare where they went into halftime being down by 22 points to the Utah Jazz. There was no way the Clippers would come back with a deficit that large, right? Wrong!
In the next two quarters, we saw the Los Angeles Clippers out-score the Utah Jazz by 19 points in the third quarter to bring them back to being down by just 3 points.
In the fourth quarter, it was very identical a performance where the Clippers outscored the Utah Jazz once again but this time by 15 to complete the comeback and officially eliminate the best record team in the league in the Utah Jazz along with another young superstar in Donovan Mitchell who scored 39 points in this game and did everything he could to keep his team in this series but just couldn't do enough just himself where on the other side the Clippers worked as a team and had multiple 20+ point scorers.
But the one performance that stood out was the super random and out of nowhere outing by second-year guard/forward Terance Mann, who scored 39 points himself to match the 39 points put up by Donovan Mitchell. Of course, if it wasn't for this performance by Mann it would have more than likely sent this series to a game 7 but that is neither here or there and Mann had the game of his life scoring the 39 points off 15 out of 21 shot attempts which would be 71% from the field. 7 out of 10 of those shots were off of 3-pointers.
Reggie Jackson had a double-double performance with 27 points and 10 assists and Paul George had 28 points while flirting with a triple-double of 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
In an article i wrote a week ago i said that Donovan Mitchell was made for the playoffs and i still stand by that statement as even in a loss the kid still put up 39 points while also flirting with a triple-double himself having 9 rebounds and 9 assists. But this is not about him, this is about the Los Angeles Clippers who are now once again heading to the Western Conference Finals!
They will now be matched up against another red hot team in the Phoenix Suns who we saw eliminate Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round and then sweep the Denver Nuggets and league MVP Nikola Jokic.
Even if we see the Suns go up 0-2 on the Clippers you will not see me make any predictions from that moment on lol.
Congrats to the City of LA and the Clippers on making it to the conference finals once again.
Hope you guys enjoyed the read