26 Aug

Clippers headed to the playoffs laughing at projections

first_img Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates With still seven regular-season games remaining – including five at home – the Clippers are 45-30, a monumental measure of success no one outside of the organization predicted before this season began.Although in August, ESPN actually suggested the Clippers would be a bit better than Rivers claimed – two victories better.The Worldwide Leader in Sports predicted the squad with no superstars and its sights set on 2019 free agency would finish 35-47, writing: “The departure of DeAndre Jordan, the last of the Lob City cornerstones, is a major reason the Clippers are projected to finish under .500 for the first time since 2010-11.” Bleacher Report forecast a 36-46 result: “Too many questions, not enough star power to think the Clippers are trending up.”Sports Illustrated didn’t assign probable victories, but it determined the Clippers would be the 21st of the NBA’s 30 teams and well out of playoff contention by the time it all shook out: “There is also a certain mix of injury history and age that doesn’t bode well for the Clippers.”FiveThirtyEight, the data journalism site that offers analysis and predictions on matters ranging from politics to sports, foresaw the team finishing with, yes, just 33 wins. The Clippers were thought to have a 16 percent chance of making the postseason, according to the site, which updates its prognostications continually throughout the season.It currently has the Clippers – who’ve won an NBA-best six straight games and 11 of their past 12 – pegged to finish 48-34.Related Articles Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters FiveThirtyEight has not, however, shifted its predicted probability of the Clippers reaching the NBA Finals. Their chances of making it that far before the season and now are the same: Less than 1 percent.Apparently, Rivers is keeping score of such predictions.“This is just the start!” Rivers went on to proclaim Tuesday, after Italian forward Danilo Gallinari – who, in 63 games this season, ranks first in the NBA in offensive efficiency with 1.17 points per possession, according to Synergy Sports – popped the champagne and sprayed it all around the locker room.“This is the start.” Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 On their social media channels Tuesday evening, the Clippers – rebranded as the “x-Clippers” on Twitter, in reference to the team’s new standings status among those who’ve clinched an NBA playoff berth – posted a candid video of Coach Doc Rivers addressing his players in the visitors’ locker room after their 122-111 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.“Hey!” hollered the 57-year-old coach as he made his way into the room, a bottle of champagne tucked in the crook of his arm. “ESPN predicted 33 wins – that’s what they said! Charles Barkley? Thirty-three wins. Vegas? Thirty-three wins.“And we’re goin’ to the damn playoffs!” SHAMET, BEVERLEY QUESTIONABLEPatrick Beverley and Landry Shamet are listed as questionable to play in the Clippers’ game in Milwaukee on Thursday, according to the team.Shamet, a rookie guard, sustained a left ankle impingement Sunday against the New York Knicks. That held him out Tuesday in Minnesota, where Beverley, another guard, left the game early with a right hip pointer. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more