With Kawhi Leonard sidelined with injury, and Paul George entering health and safety protocols just hours before the game, the LA Clippers were unable to secure a play-in victory. With a trip to the playoffs on the line, the Clippers fell short after mounting a 16-point comeback to regain the lead. After the game, several players shared their thoughts.
"Covid, injuries, the comebacks, everything. That was fun. We’ve been through it all. Trades. Missing players. We had everything, dude. Still 8th seed in the West without our best player. Basically without our two best players… I love this team," Nicolas Batum said. A veteran player who revitalized his career with the Clippers, Batum was proud of what the team accomplished this season, despite falling short. He was integral to their success all season, and will be key again next year.
When asked about getting Kawhi Leonard and Paul George back next year, Reggie Jackson said, “It sucks the season ended the way it did, but I can’t help but smile thinking about next year.” Several players, and even Ty Lue reflected these same sentiments. After confirming he wants to remain with the Clippers long term, Robert Covington said, "The way that we played tonight, we went small. Imagine PG and Kawhi in that lineup."
When asked about this team, and how close they came to the playoffs, Marcus Morris said he felt as if they deserved to make it. While he acknowledges they blew their two chances in the play-in, he cited the team's resilience all season as to why they deserved a spot.
Ty Lue summed up his thoughts by saying that "It’s a disappointed locker room, but those guys in there have nothing to hang their heads about… I know we didn’t make the playoffs, but considering everything that went on this year, I’m very proud of our guys."
While the Clippers will have to watch the playoffs from home, the team fought hard all season, which is something to keep their heads high about.