The Los Angeles Clippers fell to 0-2 in their playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks last night. While Kawhi Leonard and Clippers have publicly said that they're not nervous and are ready for Game 3, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith is unconvinced.
On Wednesday's edition of First Take, Smith pointed out that the Clippers should be nervous because they are getting their butts kicked and know it. He pointed out that Mavericks forward Luka Doncic is clearly the best player in the series and doesn't even seem to respect the Clippers anymore.
"You getting you're a** kicked!" Stephen A. said. "Luka Doncic is the best player in this series. Period. 22-years-old, second time in the playoffs, and bustin' their living you-know-what!"
Stephen A. Smith made it clear that he doesn't blame Kawhi Leonard entirely for the Clippers' playoff struggles. But he pointed out that Kawhi wasn't active enough when the game was on the line.
The Los Angeles Clippers have taken a lot of heat from Stephen A. Smith and many others for how they got into the playoffs in the first place. Some have speculated that they intentionally tanked games to fall out of the No. 2 seed and avoid facing the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.
If the Clippers lose this series to the Mavericks - and oddsmakers now have the Mavericks as -250 favorites to win it - all of the heat will be on Kawhi Leonard.
It was, after all, Kawhi who openly challenged LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers for the city's crown. But in his first year with the team, the Clippers missed the Western Conference Finals while the Lakers won the title.
Can the Clippers recover and win the series against the Mavericks?