LOS ANGELES – There is a word in the NBA dictionary when a player is presented in front of the rest of the league to inflate his value and make it tempting for a new team, and that word is … well, presented.
It happens every year. But only to a player. And only in late winter, when the deadline for exchanges approaches.
So, that represents a twist. What's happening here in the playoffs, to the surprise of some, is the presentation of an entire organization, in this case the Clippers. They get ready and use their first set with the Warriors to display their peacock feathers and catch the attention of the best free agents looking for a landing spot.
We will know shortly after July 1 if the presentation of the Clippers actually worked. But at the very least, the Clippers have already made enough effort to get noticed by the best free agents, that 's all they can ask for. They make it difficult for a free A-list agent to say no.
Although they have just bought back a historic record of 31 points in match 2, and that they still show the courage and solidarity that fueled a surprising regular season of 48 wins, the Clippers are haunted by two things that they are sorely missed. A: a franchise player supported. Two: A realistic chance to shock the world and beat the Warriors three more times.
These two go hand in hand, because the post-season requires stars and you can not be taken seriously if you do not have at least two and the Warriors have four. Which means that arithmetic is not in favor of LA, not this series and at least not this season.
If you've got a Bible, they'll admit they're more concerned with winning the off-season than beating the Warriors. It's because with a good summer, the Clippers can become contenders. With a nice summer, they can change places with the Warriors at this time next April. And that's why this "showcase" means everything for the franchise.
Put yourself in the position of a free agent who changes the game and ask yourself: what is important, and the Clippers, who could have enough money under the ceiling to sign two best free agents, will they check all the boxes?
Framing? Doc Rivers is often quoted, as well as Gregg Popovich and maybe a few others, because the coach would like to play for most players. And it turns out that Rivers is perhaps the best coach of his career right now, thanks to someone who has already received the title of coach of the year and who has won a championship in Boston.
Rivers walk the tightrope without the security of a star player; the Clippers traded their best player, Tobias Harris, months ago. He has the courage to throw a pair of rookies, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet, into the backcourt. Two of his top scorers, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, come off the bench and have never complained about it. In addition, this team grinds.
"It's an extraordinary group in itself," Rivers said. "They adhere to it. Bill Russell said about his teammates: "Sometimes you have to train them with you." That's what we have here. They shoot each other.
Casting support? The Clippers are loaded with actors who accept these roles. This is not typical in the average NBA team, where one or two players worry about blows, minutes or, most importantly, money. The support distribution of the Clippers simply plays, which is ideal for a new superstar who can have the ego for himself.
"We all agree with that," said Pat Beverley. "We know that our game time is approaching and we are not discussing it. We know when we will leave the game and we will not argue either. We give ourselves the love, respect and hope of success. "
But they are not ordinary actors. Williams may only be one thing, but that's fine. Same for Harrell, a hardcore cleaning man. Danilo Gallinari can lose 20 points and never ask for the ball. Beverley will accept the most difficult defensive task of any size; Have you seen what he's doing against Kevin Durant in this series? Surround a better star with these players and chemistry should not be a problem.
The Clippers make it clear that they are not a big 3 point shooting team and that they lack a big dominant player. That is, they do not follow trends, they create their own trend. And players are flexible enough to adapt if a new system is needed to accommodate a good incoming player.
Money? Check Forbes' list for this guy: Name Ballmer, first name Steve and see the net owner's value. Here's a hint: you can not count so high.
Place? Any star wanting a big market will have all the commercial attractions of LA as well as the weather. Of course, much of Los Angeles is traditionally lukewarm for the Clippers and "Lob City" has captured the curiosity, but not the imagination of the city. But there is an opening here – the Lakers even languish with LeBron James – and an opportunity.
How many free agents will give a meeting to the Clippers, then arrive to see Rivers, Ballmer and team consultant Jerry West sitting at the table and not be impressed?
The Clippers are not trying to get rave reviews from the Warriors, although that happens anyway. They hope that Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker and – understand it, Durant take note and take notes.
"What we have done so far," said Beverley, "shows the balance of this team, the character of this team, the high-level coach of this team and the heart of This team shows a lot. "
Rivers compared his team to cockroaches, respectfully and affectionately, as these parasites are hard to contain, let alone kill. In the end, a person of size 14 arrives and tramples enough to win the war, a scenario that will probably be played in Warriors Vs. Clippers.
The first-round series could be completed next Wednesday and most losing teams could lose their sleep after being sidelined in five games. However, while the Warriors would move to the second round in this scenario, the Clippers would soon move on to something bigger – and, they hope, better.
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Shaun Powell has been covering the NBA for over 25 years. You can send him an email right here .
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