The LA Clippers’ losing streak continues after loss in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 18: Nicolas Batum
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 18: Nicolas Batum /

The LA Clippers came into Charlotte after taking a tough loss at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. We saw more of the same from the Clippers tonight. Lethargic, uninspired play abounded on both sides of the ball.

If you didn’t tune in, here are some quick statistics: 14 turnovers, 27% from 3, no starters recording a positive +/-, and a fine display of why the Clippers are ranked 28th in assist ratio.

CHARLOTTE, NC – NOVEMBER 18: Kemba Walker /

The underlying issues

With a healthy (sorry) proportion of the Clipper guard rotation riding pine with injury, it is to be expected that offense from the backcourt would continue to be an issue. You would be forgiven, however, for thinking the Clippers might have figured out how to get the ball moving consistently considering how long Milos Teodosic and Patrick Beverley have been inactive for.

Too often, offensive action seems incoherent. The ball sticks, everybody seems to overdribble and, more often than not, the Clippers settle for low-percentage looks late in the shot clock. Blake Griffin is taking too many contested, off balance turnarounds in the post for my liking, and Austin Rivers teeing off from well outside the 3 point arc is unacceptable at this stage.

CHARLOTTE, NC – NOVEMBER 18: Austin Rivers
CHARLOTTE, NC – NOVEMBER 18: Austin Rivers /

I don’t like it when fans bash Rivers. It’s now time for him to step up or step aside as a starting guard, however. Tonight he shot 21% from the floor and 17% from 3, displaying poor shot selection and missing from point blank. He also turned the ball over and often held the ball for too long. Once or twice he missed a shot or did not get a call and was slow getting back, leading to easy Hornets points. This too, is unacceptable when the team is in the midst of an extended losing run.

He is of course by no means the only player in need of a lift. DeAndre Jordan in particular could have been more engaged tonight, and the rest of the team certainly needs to start to show some fight before this season slips away.

Looking ahead

It’s impossible for us to truly know what the issue here is. It certainly seems to be more than simple injuries affecting the rotation. Maybe it is a lack of practice time. Perhaps it is the coaching of Doc Rivers. Could it be the extended time on the road in the East? The Clippers need to take some W’s home against the Knicks and Hawks before heading back West.