How does one explain the LA Clippers, arguably the league’s most talented team, implosion in their series with the Denver Nuggets? The Clippers somehow managed to lose three straight games after taking a 3-1 lead in the best of seven series. The final game wasn’t even close as the Clippers squandered a double digit lead and ended up losing by 15 points. That sort of collapse simply doesn’t happen in the NBA. The Clippers, however, aren’t the only talented team that has played terribly in Orlando. The 76’s and the Pacers were each swept in four games, and the Milwaukee Bucks, the top seeded team in the East, lost in their second round matchup with the Miami Heat in just five games.
The Clippers debacle can only partially be explained by the determination of the Nuggets or by the lackluster performance of Clipper stars Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Lou Williams. Williams, who had been previously been punished by the NBA for breaking the bubble rules and going to strip club, blamed the dismal performance on “team chemistry”, but this is simplistic, since it was obvious that he and his teammates were anxious to escape the bubble (basically no one is allowed in or out) in which the playoffs are taking place.
The playoff system is rigged, not in the sense of being fixed, but in the sense that teams that are able to bring women into the bubble have a huge advantage. One could certainly say, to use Williams’ expression, that such teams have a much better “team chemistry” than opponents who have not figured out how to rig the system.
This should be investigated, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver seems oblivious to what is going on. He is spending his evenings in Orlando strip clubs and brothels looking for players who have escaped the bubble, when he should be focusing on how teams such as the Miami Heat and LA Lakers are bringing women into the bubble.