LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers did their part to bring the “Battle of LA” to the Western Conference Finals. The Los Angeles Clippers, on the other hand, had three chances to secure a “Hallway Series” at Walt Disney World, only to see the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell falter down the stretch of a seven-game collapse against the Denver Nuggets. How did the Purple and Gold persevere past James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets? Why did the Clippers choke away another 3-1 lead in a second-round NBA playoff series? And what’s next for each of LA’s franchises?
On this week’s episode of Hollywood Hoops, Eric Pincus and Josh Martin break down the good, the bad and the ugly that the Lakers and Clippers brought to the court in Orlando. Our co-hosts tip things off by comparing and contrasting the immediate fates of Staples Center’s co-tenants. Did the Lakers’ rise and the Clips’ crash merely come down to a disparity in performance by point guards and benches? Or is there something deeper to that difference—something that cannot be explained by Xs and Os, but was all too apparent in how each team handled challenging runs by its second-round opponent?
Eric and Josh then perform a post mortem on the 2019-20 Clippers. Did a lack of time with a full roster—and the resulting lack of cohesion—spell doom for Steve Ballmer’s star-studded club? How much of the Clips’ results fall on Doc Rivers, whose track record of closing out postseason series is historic for all the wrong reasons? What’s next for this forlorn franchise as it faces an offseason of unprecedented uncertainty across the NBA?
Our co-hosts close out the show by looking at the path forward for the Lakers. They certainly found enough of a spark with Anthony Davis at center and Markieff Morris as a starter to put away the bite-sized Rockets in five games. Will that same adjustment suffice against the size of the Nuggets, who feature All-Stars Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap up front, with Mason Plumlee and Michael Porter Jr. off the bench? Or will Frank Vogel have to switch things up again, this time by putting JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard into the mix? And how will the Purple and Gold account for the danger of Jamal Murray?
Find out in the latest episode of #HollywoodHoops!
00:00 – Lakers Advance, Clippers Collapse
14:33 – Is This It For Doc Rivers?
27:54 – Anthony Davis Dominates the Rockets
43:22 – Western Conference Finals Preview