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Clippers Given Printout Showing 44 of 45 Analysts Picking Spurs to Win Before Series Start

Almost no one picked the Clippers to win and Los Angeles exploited this by providing a printout to players showing just how lopsided the picks were before the series began.

The sheet of paper Clippers players were given before their series against the Spurs.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 3, 2015

One of the most well worn motivational devices in sports is instilling in the players an "us against them/no one believes in us" mentality. It's so ubiquitous, you hear it after individual regular season games these days. If you catch any post game press conference you're almost guaranteed to hear some variation on the "No one thought we could come in here and beat them" sentiment, so much so that it can often feel forced. This, however, does not appear to be forced at all.

The Clippers were the No. 3 seed in a stacked Western Conference and drew the No. 6 Spurs and virtually every recognizable person in basketball media picked the Spurs to win (shout out to Tas Melas of The Starters for picking correctly!). Smartly, the Clippers staff put together every one of these picks on a handy sheet of paper to show the team just how little the rest of the country believed they could topple the defending champions. 44 of 45 individuals from outlets like ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and CBS Sports, picked the Spurs to beat the Clippers, most saying in six or seven games. It's a remarkable thing to look at as a disinterested party, let alone someone involved in the games, and after watching Chris Paul do what he did yesterday to oust the Spurs in seven, it seems like the psych up game is still a viable well to dip into when needed. Especially when predictions are as ridiculously lopsided as these.