Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin reacts to a foul call during the first half in Game 4 of an NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference semifinal against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
It ended the way so many Clippers games have this season - starring Chris Paul.
In some games, Chris Paul worked one on one - somehow, someway beating his man and hitting a miraculous shot. In others, like last night, Paul working one on one, trying to beat his man with the defense collapsing.
Game over. Season over.
But it was Paul at the end.
Every team in the league knew he would have the ball. He was the heart and soul of the team.
Blake Griffin made the basketball world take notice. Chris Paul made the basketball world take the Clippers seriously.
Without question he meant more to his team than any player in the league.
He transformed his teammates from a bunch of players to a group of believers. He did the same for long suffering much maligned Clippers fans.
ThIs Clippers team has much to be proud of. They provided a great deal of excitement. They won some games they should have lost and lost some games they should have won. In both cases, they kept their fans on the edge of their seats.
Going forward how does team improve?
Great athletes must become better basketball players.
I'd pay any night to watch Blake Griffin. When I see Blake next season I hope he's developed his jump shot. When I see Deandre Jordan next season, I hope he continues his growth and becomes more of a presence at center.
When I see the Clippers next season I hope they have a more diversified offense. It is the next level they have to reach.
Overall this season, the club recorded the best winning percentage in franchise history. They beat Memphis in a hard fought playoff series. Those two facts are reason for celebration.
The Clippers are no longer a joke. They're no longer a secret. They're to be taken seriously. How seriously they prepare for next season will determine how bright they're future is.