Chris Broussard: “The notion about Shannon and I making this up about the Clippers tanking to avoid the Lakers. I texted somebody who would know last week and I was like ‘man, I keep hearing that the Clippers tanked to avoid the Lakers, there’s no way I believe that, that can’t be true.’ I got the text back from a person who would know that it’s ‘totally true’ and he didn’t like it. He said it was ‘bad karma’ and all of that. I believe it. They didn’t want the Lakers. I’m not saying they would have been scared of them in the conference finals but for whatever reason they didn’t want them early, that’s what I’m told.”
It’s been flippantly floated in NBA media and fan circles alike about the Clippers losing their final two games on purpose to avoid playing the Lakers in the postseason, but Chris Broussard says a source confirmed that was indeed true.
Broussard said ‘I texted somebody who would know last week and I was like ‘man, I keep hearing that the Clippers tanked to avoid the Lakers, there’s no way I believe that, that can’t be true.’ I got the text back from a person who would know that it’s ‘totally true.'
Starters Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Rajon Rondo, and Marcus Morris sat in their final two regular-season games. The Clippers would end up losing to the 17-54 Rockets, and 22-50 Thunder in succession to lose out on the number three seed to the Denver Nuggets.
The Clippers would then draw the no. 5 seed Mavericks in the first round and likely play the no. 1 seed Jazz in the second round. With Dallas owning a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Lakers, the Lakers couldn’t have risen higher than the no. 6 in the final two days of the regular season.
By losing their final two games the Clippers theoretically avoided getting the three seed and drawing the Lakers as a six seed in the first round, and would have avoided the Lakers in the second round had the Lakers gotten the no. 7 seed and beaten the Suns in the first round.
The Clippers would effectively guarantee that they didn’t face the Lakers until the Western Conference Finals.
However, currently down 0-2 to a Mavericks team they WANTED to play, their plan seems to have terribly backfired.
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