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Dan Woike: Time could be running out for Clippers and Kawhi Leonard

By Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

And what about the two stars who disappeared late in the most important game in Clippers history, combining to miss all 10 of their shots in the fourth quarter? They surely need to find ways to be better and, if not, to lift the players around them.

Maybe a more experienced, true point guard who could be a primary playmaker would free the two in more situations - for instance, these last three second halves.

George needs to get comfortable and find his voice, because that's just not Leonard's personality. And relying on role players to carry that burden isn't typically how championships are won.

Then there's Rivers. He's been with the Clippers since 2013, currently the fifth-longest run for a coach with one team. But three of the coaches ahead of Rivers on the list have won NBA titles with their current teams, as the Clippers stare at an uncrossable moat surrounding the conference finals.

As matters unraveled in the fourth quarter Tuesday night, Rivers called timeout in an attempt to instill some sort of cohesion. But as the Clippers walked off the floor, they did so as five socially distanced individuals, completely disconnected.

 

"I'll let you do all the blaming," Rivers said after the game. "I don't play that game. You can figure that one out on your own."

But in losing this way this many times in a row, finding a solution seems almost impossible. And with time working against the Clippers, the pressure to make it right is even greater.

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