After another poor outing in Denver last night it has become apparent that the LA Clippers need to show a sense of urgency all game.
It’s not quite time to slam the panic button, but last night’s loss in Denver yet again showed something not so great about the LA Clippers. They don’t play the whole game with a sense of urgency.
Yes, the team came out and scored 30 points while allowing just 29 to a good Denver team but that all went out of the window in the second quarter. Denver scored 37 points in the second quarter while the Clippers only scored 22. They lost the third quarter by just a single point and won the fourth by five. While it’s not the worst outing, especially given that the Nuggets are a good team and the Clippers are missing Paul George, we still saw them just drop off for a period of time.
This problem has been pronounced over the team’s last week or so of games. A loss to Memphis saw a Clippers team playing with no effort and the next day against the Knicks, although a victory, felt the exact same. Even after four days off following that win, the Clippers had to force a late-game comeback against the Golden State Warriors. Kawhi Leonard was quoted after the game stating he told his teammates in the fourth “They ain’t gonna score the ball no more“.
That’s just it though, isn’t it? Why is that not the mentality this team has for all four quarters? Why does Kawhi have to be the vocal one to tell his teammates to kick it into gear? If this team wants to be a serious contender, they need to show it from the tip.
Kicking it into fourth gear in the late game might work on younger, bad teams like the Warriors but it was evident last night that against stronger opponents, it’s just too risky. Chauncey Billups alluded to this last night as well in the waning minutes of the loss. We can see that they have the extra gear, which is what makes all of this so frustrating to watch.
I don’t have answers. Hopefully, Doc and the rest of the coaching staff do. Too many slip-ups like this, especially when the schedule is supposed to be easier, could drop the Clippers in the standings to a position that is less than desirable.
For a team spouting the motto “DRIVEN OVER GIVEN”, fans sure have not seen much drive lately.