The Los Angeles Clippers are now 3-3 in their Western semifinals series against the Denver Nuggets, two games after being 3-1 up and blowing two big chances to finish the job. They have wasted two 16-point lead in the last two games and now the pressure is huge for them. This appears to be common for the Clippers, who also lost a 3-1 lead in the same stance in 2015, against the Houston Rockets.
Now things are worse. They have two of the best two-way players in the league and seeing the way they played the first four games, everything pointed out that the Clippers were going to advance to the WCF with relative ease.
Well, that hasn't been the case and the alarms are set now for the Clips. Knowing their prior history, one would imagine this is part of the team's DNA, but there is one big factor that comes to play now: Doc Rivers.
The Clips have been unable to close the Game 5 and 6 and most people have called out Rivers for these struggles. They may have a point since this isn't anything new for the coach. Before the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead in 2015, Rivers had a similar fate in the 2010 Finals while he was the head coach of the Boston Celtics.
An old video has resurfaced showing Phil Jackson calling a timeout to tell his Lakers that the Celtics didn't know how to keep a lead.
All of this happened in the 2010 Finals, which as some of you know, were won by the Lakers after trailing 3-2 against the Celtics.
"This team has lost more games in the fourth quarter than anybody in the NBA. They know how to lose in the 4th quarter," Jackson said in the 5th game of that series.
Now things aren't that different for Rivers, except that he's coaching the Clippers in the Western semifinals. He'll be heavily criticized if once again the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead, against a team that came back from the same deficit in the past round.
The pressure on their shoulders is huge and they all hope that this situation won't happen again in Game 7.