While the Los Angeles Clippers should have to be worried about stopping the Golden State Warriors, their focus isntead was disruoted by the alleged racist comments made by their owner Donald Sterling.
The recent off-court controversy has done nothing good for the Clippers, as Warriors managed to level the series in the last game beating them comprehensively 118-97.
Instead of heading to the court and rectifying the errors made in the fourth game, Clippers' coach Doc Rovers decided to cancel a practise session. Things aren't looking good for them in the fifth game as well.
"I just felt like they needed to breathe. They've been inundated with this," Rivers said. "I'll go down and say hi to them and talk to them, make sure they're in the right place.
"Right now it's more than basketball. This is a non-basketball decision that I thought I had to make and I thought it was right decision. If you get your life better, then you can probably do your work better. They need to do that."
The Clippers are playing at their home court, but Warriors coach Mark Jackson believes the home fans should boycott the game in protest of their owner's reported comments.
"I believe if it was me, I wouldn't come to the game," Jackson said. "I believe the fans, the loudest statement that they can make as fans is to not show up to the game.... To me, it will make the noise of it not being tolerated. That this is a different time. It's unfortunate, and we cannot allow someone with these feelings to profit."
Rivers said his players have done nothing wrong but the controversy has has had an adverse effect on the players, something they have to deal with as a group.
"What other players are going through 'Should I be playing' thoughts in the middle of a playoff series? I sympathize for my players," Rivers said. "They didn't sign on for this. Yet here they are and they're in the middle of it and they have to deal with it. They didn't do anything wrong and they're in the middle of it, and they didn't ask to be. I feel terrible for them. I'm going to try to do whatever I can to make them OK."
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 10:30 pm ET (8:00 am IST, 2:30 am GMT) start with live coverage on TNT in the US and Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India. The game can be watched via live streaming online in the US HERE or HERE. The game can be live streamed by international viewers, including India, HERE.