Los Angeles–The Clippers lackadaisical ways are costing them important wins. The red hot Indiana Pacers invaded the Staples Center on Sunday beating Los Angeles by five points. It was a gutsy win and could have gone either way.
But the Clippers couldn’t find the solution to their number one problem, playing forty-eight minutes of basketball. It seems to be a reoccurring situation that they failed to resolve last season.
For some strange unusual reason, the Clippers like to get deep into the ball game in the second half. The first twenty-four minutes of the game isn’t as important as the last twenty-four.
“I thought in the second half we joined the game, and then it was a game,” Rivers said. “I thought Indiana attacked us early and we didn’t attack back, and then in the second half it was a good basketball game. I take out of that that we can play with anybody, but I’m not taking a moral victory. We lost the game.”
Another thing the Clippers don’t do– is throw the first punch, and it comes back to haunt them. They had a chance to hand the Pacers their second loss of the season. The Clippers lead the game by one-point in the second quarter, and tied the game late in the fourth quarter, so there were opportunities.
On paper the Clippers are a very legitimate team who could possibly go far in the playoffs. It takes time to gel with a new coach, and deal with your flaws– but time is ticking and waits for no one.
After losing to good quality teams like the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder, there should be a bit of apprehension in the locker room.
Head coach Doc Rivers set big expectations at the beginning of the season, but he knows every game will be challenging.
“We’re human,” Rivers said. “Some games you come in to win. It’s not like our guys came in and were like, ‘Let’s not win today.’ “Indiana came in with a purpose. This was their first game on the West Coast road trip, and you could see their seriousness and the beginning of the game was locked in and we were not. We tried to get into it.”
Rivers has confidence in the Clippers. A lot of people do, like I said before they have the pieces to the puzzle to be a playoff contender; but they have to play with a sense of urgency. In this league, you have to play every game like it’s a playoff game and the Clippers aren’t doing that, just yet.
Hopefully, they’ll change their mindset while traveling from city to city. The Clippers packed their bags and headed to LAX airport Monday afternoon to start a seven-game road trip that ends on Dec.14. First on the docket is the Atlanta Hawks, followed by a road game against the rugged Memphis Grizzlies, and then a pit stop in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.