With a 2-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers should be enjoying their advantage entering Game 4 of this best-of-seven series.
Rather, the team is distracted with the recent expose that their owner, Donald Sterling was involved in a racist-filled conversation with an ex-girlfriend released by popular site TMZ.
"The fact that I had to spend 45 minutes in a meeting instead of watching film did not make me happy," said L.A. head coach Doc Rivers in light of the recent controversy with the team’s owner.
"For me, I want to focus on my guys. I came here for them. They came here for each other. Our goals have not changed.”
The Warriors are worried about basketball things, particularly how Blake Griffin has given them lots of problems in the last two games which L.A. has won.
“I could make a change,” said Golden State head coach Marc Jackson in an NBA.COM article. “I won’t say whether I will or with who. But it’s possible. We’ve got to figure out a way to present some resistance. I think things are going a little too smoothly right now for Blake.”
Griffin had 35 points in the 40-point blowout in Game Two; and followed it up with 32 points in the 2-point win in Game Three.
Starting power forward David Lee is looking forward to the challenge as well and proving to his coach that he can handle perhaps the most athletic big man in the league.
“I’ll be better on Sunday, I can promise you that. I can promise you he’s played two games in a row, but this series is not over. I’m a guy that’s going to keep battling, that’s for sure,” said Lee.
The last game ended in a controversial fashion as well. Stephen Curry felt he was fouled on the last play on a three-point attempt.
"I thought I initiated enough contact," declared Curry after the Game 3 loss. "That's my go-to move, the step-back. I'm not going to air-ball that."
Can the Clippers grab the 3-1 series lead before the series shifts back to Los Angeles and at the same time put the racism controversy behind them? Or will the Warriors protect their home floor this time and even out the best-of-seven affair?
Watch Game 4 of the Clippers-Warriors match-up via NBA League Pass.