Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas Believes LA Clippers Still Troubled By Ghosts From the Past

Published 12/28/2020, 12:27 PM EST
Dec 27, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) sat on the bench for the second half against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


The LA Clippers were completely out of sync during their mid-afternoon game against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. Tyronn Lue’s men looked all over the place as the Mavericks handed them their biggest loss in franchise history. Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas feels the ghosts of the past are still haunting the Clippers, preventing them from performing well.

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The odds were against the Mavericks before the game began, but they raced to victory in emphatic fashion. Dallas never looked like they would slow down after the tip-off and went for half-time carrying a 50-point lead, the biggest ever since the introduction of the shot clock! 

Isiah Thomas sends out an alarming message about the LA Clippers

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The Clippers went into half-time carrying a 50-point deficit, and there was no way that they could come back from that hammering. But it was surprising to see a team that was 2-0 prior to the game taking a beating like that. 

The Clippers simply couldn’t respond to the Mavericks’ defense and kept bottling shots one after the other. “I was hoping that emotionally and psychologically [Clippers] would bounce back from the way that they lost against the Nuggets last year in the bubble,” Isaiah Thomas said during the half-time break. 

Dec 27, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (left) drives against Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7) in the first quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Basketball Hall of Famer was truly gutted by the way the Clips played and signaled that daunting times are ahead for the LA-based franchise. The Clippers looked completely disorganized without Kawhi Leonard on the court, but the loss isn’t just because of that, according to Thomas. 

“The Clippers, at the start of this season, they still haven’t to me regained that confidence or that emotional thrust that they need, and today is a perfect indication of what they are going through psychologically and what they’re going through emotionally as a basketball team and as a franchise,” the former Detroit Pistons star said. 

“I don’t know if they’re going to be able to bounce back emotionally from what happened to them last year,” Isiah further added. 

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Are the Clippers still traumatized by their 2020 playoff exit? 

One needs no reminder about what the LA Clippers went through against the Denver Nuggets in the 2020 playoffs’ second round. In brief, the Clips surged to a 3-1 lead, but eventually lost momentum, and the series as the Nuggets fought back to create history. 

It proved to be an embarrassing moment for the whole Clippers franchise, especially for their two superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. One can’t assume that the previous season’s loss still isn’t affecting the team. 

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Dec 25, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) celebrates with forward Serge Ibaka (9) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during a timeout in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

But Isiah Thomas, who has ample knowledge about the game, feels that is the case with the Clips. But it is hard to believe that the team still hasn’t buried their playoff loss, even after they notched up their second win of the 2021 campaign against familiar opponents in the Denver Nuggets. 

The Clippers avenged their playoff loss against the Nuggets, but is it still haunting them and mentally hindering the players to an extent where they’re unable to perform? We’ll leave this for you to decide! 

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Arjun Athreya

1823 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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