Nicknames are earned, not given.
Well, the Los Angeles Clippers not only earned the title “Lob City”, they grabbed the moniker by the horns and will ride it all the way to Oklahoma City.
After what had to be the longest and most emotionally draining opening round series in NBA history, the Clippers dusted off the old Lob City playbook and put it to good use in Game 7. You know the story by now. The Clippers, once down 10 in the first half, used their aerial assaults on the offense end to get quick buckets and extend their lead. However, the Warriors never budged and wouldn’t be sent packing so easily. The Clippers had to break out something new if they were going to advance to the second round and put this draining series behind them.
They needed to bring Lob City to the defensive end. The Lob City triumvirate, which consists of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Paul, made their biggest stands of the night on defense. Sure, the Clippers closed the game on dunks by Griffin and Jordan. And, yes, the Warriors did manage to put up 121 points, their highest total in the series, in Game 7. However, when the chip were all out on the table late in the 4th quarter, the Lob City Three locked down the Warriors. Griffin and Jordan both blocked shots, with Jordan’s being the most critical play of the game, while Chris Paul took on the task of slowing down Stephen Curry, who scored 33 points to go with 9 assists.
At the end of the game, the Clippers showed their heart and gave fans around the league the brand they deserve. The Clippers logo and franchise has been sullied this past week with all of the Donald Sterling news breaking. However, there isn’t a more deserving team of adulation from the NBA community than the LA Clippers. Doc Rivers and his men have stood in the face of this media onslaught and, not only have the performed admirably, they’ve changed the NBA landscape.
You will never see Rivers as happy as he was on Saturday night. As the game wound down, the coach was on the sidelines giving high-fives to fans and screaming out of pure joy. Rivers may have coached the 2008 Boston Celtics to a NBA Championship; however, this is his finest hour. It is fair for us to wonder if any coach in the league could have balanced the Sterling situation and winning a difficult opening series against an incredible opponent any better than Doc. He was simply a marvel. He’s going to need to be marvelous once again when the Clippers take on Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Round 2.
But, for now, Lob City is back in business. No more Sterling, no more Warriors. The Clippers have bigger goals in mind. They’re trying to rebrand an entire organization, while winning a championship in the process. Those are some lofty goals. If anyone knows how to throw down some lofts though, it’s Lob City.