The Los Angeles Clippers lost the first game of their playoff series against the Utah Jazz, but that doesn't necessarily mean much.
At least, it doesn't mean much when the idea is what may happen to the Clippers next.
Most are saying it will take a run to the Finals for the Clippers to keep their core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan together.
But that's not the message Doc Rivers is preaching -- and not only is Rivers the coach, he's the man in charge of overseeing the roster.
Still as USA Today noted:
"On the one hand, the Clippers boast a dynamic core of talent that has earned the league’s third-best winning percentage since Rivers came to town (.662). On the other, their inability to survive the second round is well-chronicled and they’re now in danger of falling out in the first round for the second consecutive postseason (to be fair, Paul and Griffin both suffered season-ending injuries in Game 4 of their six-game first round series loss to Portland last season). And then there’s the elephant-in-the-room factor to consider: age."
All that taken into account, Rivers is hopeful that everyone is back.
Rivers told USA Tiday: “Here's my argument to (the question of whether all that luxury tax is worth it). Let's say we don't win this year — which I think we will, (but) let's say we don't. Do you give up on a 50-win team that has proven that they're really close (to winning it all), or do you hang in there and keep trying to maybe make changes around (the core)?"
Rivers can hope all he wants. But the answer to his question is yes. You DO give up on a 50-win team that can't get past the second round of the playoffs.
Of course, there's still plenty of time for the Clippers to accomplish something notable. And hey, even if they falter, there's always available New York star Carmelo Anthony, who reportedly would love to play for the team.
Either way, as usual, it's hard to tell where the Clippers will go from here. Both on the court and off.