Watching the Los Angeles Clippers fold on Tuesday night was the highlight of most basketball fan’s week. The Clippers were seen as arrogant and entitled, despite not having accomplished much yet.
But when once the dust settled and you really looked back at this debacle, it wouldn’t be hard to think about chemistry issues being a problem. Dating back to last year, the Clippers were this scrappy team that erased a 31 point deficit to the fully healthy Golden State Warriors before bowing out in six games.
Then that summer, they land Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, expectations were through the roof. But PG started the season on the bench with shoulder issues, and Kawhi Leonard was in and out of the lineup all season with nagging knee issues. Then the coronavirus halted things for four months, only to return to Montrezl Harrell, missing the restart with personal family issues. Then Lou Williams missed some time with the whole strip club and wings incident.
So for the entirety of the 19-20 NBA season, the Clippers have been everywhere. And now reports are coming out that Harrell and PG got into a verbal altercation during a timeout in Game 2 of the series.
Harrell tried to approach PG about a risky pass he made to him while Harrell was being guarded by Michael Porter, Jr. and Jamal Murray. Instead of listening, PG reportedly didn’t take responsibility for the turnover, telling Harrell that he should have caught the ball.
“You’re always right. Nobody can tell you nothing,” Harrell reportedly said to George before the two hurled expletives at each other, according to Yahoo Sports Chris Haynes.
The situation was handled by Doc Rivers and his staff before it blew to where media or fans could notice, but that little spat could have been the root of some of the issues for the Clippers.
Although the incident was defused by Doc Rivers and other Clippers teammates, the spat could be seen as a microcosm of the chemistry issues that plagued the Clippers throughout the playoffs. On paper, the Clippers were the better team. Despite climbing out to a 3-1 lead over the Nuggets, the Clippers imploded and allowed their opponents to advance to the Western Conference Finals in seven games.