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“There’s Something Going on Here”: NBA Analysts Raises Questions on LA Clippers Ahead of Game 7 Against Denver Nuggets

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"There's Something Going on Here": NBA Analysts Raises Questions on LA Clippers Ahead of Game 7 Against Denver Nuggets

The Los Angeles Clippers have one of the most talented teams in the league. They are expected to win it all this season, but in the Playoffs, they are playing like a shell of themselves. Kawhi Leonard led Clippers are on the verge of blowing a 3-1 lead against the Nuggets.

Right now, the series is tied at three games apiece courtesy of insane performances by Nikola Jokic. But what went wrong for the Clippers? They have a solid, well-rounded team and are still struggling to find their groove.

If the Nuggets take Game 7, then it would taint the Clippers’ playoff record even further. In 50 years as a basketball team, this is the closest the Clippers have ever been to making the WCF. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst made some remarks on the present condition of the Clippers.

There’s something going on here and just saying that it’s the Clippers losing focus or them not being able to hold on to a lead, it’s more than that. The Denver Nuggets are outplaying them, the Denver Nuggets bench has been better, their second half execution has been better, their second half energy has been better, their second half coaching has been better.

“Montrezl Harrell has not been the same player since he came back from being away. Lou Williams has not been the same player, since he came out of the NBA Quarantine… As Doc Rivers said today, they [Clippers] put themselves here, nobody else, and it’s up to the Clippers to get themselves out of it.”

Clippers need to regroup quickly, or it’s the end of the road for them. Game 7 is the last opportunity to salvage something from this playoff run. Otherwise, it will be the same old story for the franchise.

Can the Los Angeles Clippers win Game 7?

LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) celebrates with forward Montrezl Harrell (left) and guard Patrick Beverley (21) and head coach Doc Rivers after defeating the Denver Nuggets in game three of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Looking back on recent performances by the Clippers, it’s been nothing but disappointment for the fans. Despite entering the second half with a commanding lead, they could not finish multiple games.

Moreover, the glorified second unit of the Clippers continues to struggle. On the other hand, the Denver Nuggets are playing just phenomenal in the series. Nikola Jokic has risen as the leader for the squad while Michael Porter Jr. is leading the bench for the team.

Taking the current situation into consideration, the Nuggets might upset the Clippers and advance to the WCF. However, Kawhi Leonard has championship experience and there is no better time to carry the team on his back.

Who will be the one to clinch the Western Conference Finals berth? We will have our answer on Tuesday night.

Aikansh Chaudhary


A vivid follower of Basketball, Cricket, and Football. Started writing as a passion now it is my bread and butter.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Brett Rypien will start for Broncos against Jets

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Brett Rypien will start for Broncos against Jets

If the Jets can’t win this one…

The Broncos are expected to name Brett Rypien their starting quarterback for Thursday night’s game at MetLife Stadium, NFL Network reports. Rypien signed with the Broncos after not being selected in the 2019 NFL Draft and he saw his first NFL action a week ago.

Rypien completed 8-of-9 passes with an interception after replacing Jeff Driskel in the fourth quarter of the Broncos’ 28-10 loss to the Buccaneers. Rypien, 24, completed his first eight passes against Tampa Bay before throwing an interception in the end zone.

“We were running a little slant play over the middle and its usually good versus man coverage, especially when you’re getting pressure,” Rypien told reporters of the pass, which was meant for rookie Jerry Jeudy.

“When you get down into the red zone obviously the safeties are going to play low and he was kind of just sitting right in the middle of the field, so I tried to look him off. Then when I came back to him, I thought I had a chance to fit it in there to Jerry and he [the DB] just made a great play.”

Brett, the nephew of former Redskins QB Mark Rypien, was thrust into this position with starter Drew Lock out with a shoulder injury. Denver signed Blake Bortles last week, but the team does not feel comfortable using him without more preparation.

Both teams enter the primetime matchup 0-3.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving reveal origins of Nets bromance

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Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving reveal origins of Nets bromance

When the Nets landed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last offseason, the latter called it one of the biggest surprises in NBA history. And with the pair debuting Durant’s new podcast, they pulled the curtain back on how that friendship formed, and talked about the idea of winning a title together in Brooklyn.

The media first got a hint of the duo teaming up when cameras caught them talking at the 2019 All-Star game. But on “The ETCs with Kevin Durant,” the host said that sighting was just a piece to the puzzle the media had failed to put together.

“After that All-Star video when they caught us in the hallway, that’s when it was solidified we were going somewhere,” Durant said. “They didn’t know for a fact where it was, but it was somewhere.”

Few figured it’d be Brooklyn. Or grasped just how far back their friendship went.

Many assumed it just blossomed in 2016 when they won Olympic gold together. But it really stretched back to Irving’s 2011-12 rookie campaign, and to a Nike marketing executive named Jeff Rogers, who was commissioner of the EYBL.

“Me and Kyrie have a mutual friend in Jeff Rogers who worked at Nike. He was our grassroots guy,” Durant said. “Over time once Ky got into the league Jeff just happened to throw us in the text one night.

“We were playing the Cavs…and me looking at it like we’re No. 1 in the West, we’re playing against a (crappy) Cavs team – this is before I’d seen the light on Kyrie Irving – and I get this text from Jeff and Ky, and Ky was straight up serious. I’m joking around thinking it’s just another game, and Ky was so locked-in, like “We’re going to see tomorrow.” It wasn’t what’s up little bro, big bro; it’s like alright, I’m going to see what’s up tomorrow.”

For the record, Irving had a dozen assists in a Cavs upset. He made an impression on Durant, who explained how they formed a mutual respect from afar. And when they started talking daily, it became a brotherhood that eventually brought them to Brooklyn.

“Once we started to kick in and talk about what we’d like to do outside of the game and who our family started to meet, and it just became easy, you know? And obviously the common ground is how we hoop and how we love the game of basketball. But it just branched off from there,” Durant said.

“And we started to (talk) every day on FaceTime. What do you think about this shot? What’d you think about this move that I did in this game? How about you, when Brad (Stevens) takes you out, it was six minutes to go on the first quarter, how you approach the game coming back? We’d have these types of conversations all day, every day. And it just grew from there. It was organic. It wasn’t something that you can pinpoint and say this was the moment. It just happened.”

Kevin Durant podcast Kyrie Irving Nets
Kyrie Irving and Kevin DurantCorey Sipkin

It grew until they joined the Nets last summer, Irving saying “we unveiled one of the biggest surprise moves in NBA history.” And despite Durant’s Achilles and Irving’s shoulder having kept them from playing together this season, they say their synergy will have them on the same page next year.

“Doing it with a family member (will be great), not just a friend, somebody you just kick it with and you’re like let’s go hoop today and you see them only at the arena. But the synergy is connected to who we are as people first,” said Irving, who admits he’s matured, now chasing titles instead of stats.

“I know it’s meant for me to share that greatness not only with myself but others now. Before it used to be “let me get as many points let me get as many assists as I can.” Now I want to bring a championship with my family to Brooklyn, New York, New Jersey, DC. Then we have the biggest parade ever.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Where will Doc Rivers coach next season? 76ers, Pelicans top NBA landings spots after Clippers firing

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Where will Doc Rivers coach next season? 76ers, Pelicans top NBA landings spots after Clippers firing

Doc Rivers has been a consistent regular-season winner during his time as an NBA head coach, but the Clippers’ collapse from a 3-1 series lead in the 2020 playoffs was the final straw for his recent lack of postseason success, and L.A. parted ways with Rivers on Monday. He’s already been linked to multiple teams, including the 76ers and Pelicans, and the Thunder, Rockets and Pacers still need head coaches, too. There’s a strong possibility that Rivers will be back on a sideline when the 2020-21 NBA season gets underway.

A number of established coaches are available for hire this offseason besides Rivers, including Mike D’Antoni, Alvin Gentry, Nate McMillan, Brett Brown and Kenny Atkinson. Former head coaches and current ESPN broadcasters Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy will also see their names thrown into head-coaching speculation. Rivers possesses a regular-season record of 943-681 as coach of the Magic, Celtics and the Clippers, and he did coach the Celtics to the 2008 NBA title. If Rivers wants to coach next season, he might be the best option available.

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The biggest doubts surrounding Rivers will stem from his inability to reach the NBA Finals coaching Clippers teams led first by Chris Paul and then now with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. But with multiple talented rosters looking for an established head coach, Rivers is as likely as any available big-name coach to be re-hired.

Here are five possible landing spots for Rivers, with the 76ers and Pelicans reportedly leading the way.

1. Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers parted ways with Brett Brown after it seemed that “The Process” hadn’t quite turned them into an NBA Finals contender. There are bigger questions to answer in Philadelphia than just the head-coaching search, though. Whether Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can co-exist remains unsolved. Embiid has also raised eyebrows during the playoffs with various tweets about Jimmy Butler, causing some to wonder whether Embiid will ask out of Philly. 

Rivers has dealt with superstars before, although maybe not with quite the personality of Embiid. Even if the 76ers can keep the whole band together for another year, they have to know their current window is closing, so they’ll be looking for a veteran coach to quickly move them in the right direction. Of the available coaches, Rivers might be best suited to handle the current Philadelphia roster.

On the floor, Rivers would already have familiarity with Tobias Harris, who he coached in L.A. before Harris was traded to Philly. Additionally, it’d be easy to dream on Rivers taking the Blake Griffin-like parts of Ben Simmons’ skill set and maximizing them the way Rivers did with Griffin on the Clippers. Of course, the key to Philadelphia’s success next season will hinge on Embiid — so if Rivers goes to Philly, he’ll have to win over and effectively use his big man.

2. New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans are one of the most promising teams in the NBA. With Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday (along with the potential to re-sign Brandon Ingram), New Orleans is positioned to be a contender in the Western Conference for years. Rivers would have to accept a step back in current quality from his Clippers and Celtics teams that were, for the most part, loaded with already developed stars. Going to New Orleans would require Doc to help fill out the development of young players such as Williamson, Ball, Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. 

Just as with Simmons in Philadelphia, Rivers could likely utilize many of his same Blake Griffin strategies when it comes to maximizing Williamson. The Pelicans could appeal to the former guard Rivers by featuring not one but two high-level point guards in Ball and Holiday, after Rivers most recently dealt with the likes of Patrick Beverly and Reggie Jackson with the Clippers.

For the Pelicans to make sense for Rivers, he’ll have to decide whether he can deal with a year or two of development before New Orleans really peaks, as opposed to maybe the quicker path to winning that exists in Philadelphia.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder parted with Billy Donovan in the offseason, and Oklahoma City could be looking for a veteran NBA coach rather than dipping into the college ranks like it did with Donovan. Rivers’ desire for this job would depend on the state of his relationship with Chris Paul, who he coached on those “Lob City” Clippers teams. There’d certainly be a built-in familiarity between coach and point guard if Rivers took this position.

Rivers’ two most recent jobs were in Boston and Los Angeles. It’s not clear whether he’d be interested in going to the smaller market that is Oklahoma City, where attracting free agents can be a bit more difficult than Rivers might be used to. But there’s already a built-in succession plan on the Clippers roster for when Paul retires or moves on, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander equipped to be an All-Star point guard down the road. If Rivers sees himself staying in one place for four or five years, Oklahoma City could be the spot — between Gilgeous-Alexander and nearly $50 million in open cap space after the 2020-21 season, Rivers has a chance to build a contender with the Thunder. 

4. Houston Rockets

Whether Rivers is a fit with the Rockets depends on whether Houston hopes to keep much of Mike D’Antoni’s space-and-pace system in place even with his departure. Rivers coaches a different offensive structure and usually utilizes a traditional center (which doesn’t even really exist on the current Houston roster), so there’d have to be a drastic shift in team style for Rivers to make sense in Houston.

The appeal of the Rockets’ job is obvious: James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Rivers could appreciate the challenge of trying to make those two superstars mesh better than D’Antoni could. Rivers could also see the chance to trade Westbrook for other assets that he’d like playing more with Harden. Other than Embiid, Harden is the biggest talent that Rivers could join up with this offseason.

Rivers would also get to coach his son, Austin, if he takes over the Houston job, so how much do father and son get along?

5. Indiana Pacers

The Pacers raised their stock as a landing spot through their play in the bubble. T.J. Warren showed himself as a true leading scorer, and the backcourt pairing of Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo could appeal greatly to Rivers as a former NBA guard. And the Pacers didn’t even have Domantas Sabonis in the bubble, so there’s upside to this group, too.

There’s a lot more money on the books for this roster in 2021-22, though. That means Rivers would have to really like the current Indiana roster construction to take this job, and it’s possible the Pacers will go with more of a developmental or even college coach to pair with their young roster. 

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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