Death by Expectations

Life, Sports

The Clippers were slammed Friday night in San Antonio. I didn’t watch the game, but I did see a rerun at a bar later that night where I saw about two minutes of the first quarter in which Blake Griffin turned the ball over. Sigh.

Their 27-point loss in Game 3 was something I expected but didn’t want to happen. Of course the Spurs were going to come out on their home floor, guns blazing, ready to demolish the Clippers. After all, this could be the last year of an epic NBA dynasty of Coach Pop/Tim Duncan/Tony Parker/Manu Ginobli (so they say, anyway). Meanwhile, the Clippers have never seen past the second round and if they don’t break that streak this year, it could be the last year of their core team as well.

Both sides have lots to lose. The expectation runs higher in San Antonio than LA because championships speak louder than anything else. The Clippers are the second class citizens in Los Angeles, sharing their home court with a legendary franchise, and I’m certain their confidence levels and mindsets are nowhere close to that of the experienced Spurs. I think this is where the problem lies.

Everyone has expectations of you. First impressions are long lasting and judgments stick. It becomes easy to bend to them, to truly believe, “OK, maybe they’re right.” The thing is they’re not right. Not always. Flip that perspective and rewire your thought process. Focus on the positives and own them. Soon those expectations will be crushed, stomped on and overcome. That is what the Clippers need.

They’re down 2-1. It’s not experience or better players that they’re lacking (their youth and athleticism is enough), it’s brash determination. If they have that, I’m calling this series Clippers in seven.

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