After an underwhelming start to a season with the highest of expectations, the L.A. Clippers capsized after being overwhelmed by the firepower and speed of the Golden State Warriors.
The contest was over before it even got started as Golden State activated its cheat codes known as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and blitzed the Clippers from all angles on the court. A lifeless LA team showed brief signs of life, but ultimately succumbed and never recovered from double-digit deficits.
If there were any good signs—other than perhaps lighting a fire under the Clippers’ belly early in the season—I didn’t see them. Usually a loss can be attributed, at least in large part, to key misses or lack of contributions from specific players. In this case, however, the loss was a total team effort. Even Blake’s mustache didn’t show up.
The Clippers were out-rebounded 39 to 30 in the box score, although it felt a lot closer to 139-30. Points in the paint favored LAC, however, these only served as measly band-aids that were ruptured by the long-distance sharpshooting of Golden State.
I saw a beautiful game from one team, they are a better team right now and by a lot.
With no hustle, no aggressiveness, and possibly even suffering woozy effects from the haymakers the Warriors threw at them, the Clippers perpetuated the question mark that has been hovering above them at since the start of the 2014-15 season: what’s wrong with this team?
With four of five starters returning, and a bench composed of familiar faces, the current iteration of the LA Clippers doesn’t resemble the potent offense from last year. Even in the three wins coming into last night’s game, the Clippers have proven to be anemic in offense and indifferent in defense.
Few are the lobs, few are the jams. JJ Redick’s handsomeness can only disguise his inefficient shot for so long. All things considered, Doc was justified in expressing candid and tremendous frustration in his post game interview:
Q: What was the post game locker room message? (via OC Register)
“I didn’t say much. I just let them blow smoke up each other’s asses. That’s all they did, in my opinion. I just think if you’re going to talk, you’ve got to be real. I’m not a big fan of group meetings unless they’re real group meetings.”
Doc’s brutal feedback also included descriptions of a weak and soft team—a stigma that perennially haunts a roster full of talented, nice dudes.
The criticism may appear harsh on the surface, but if anything, it’s an indication of how far this franchise has come along. No longer do they get a pass from the media, fans, or even their own coach. With Doc at the helm and two legitimate superstars leading the battle, expectations are higher than they’ve ever been and that should provide enough solace and motivation for the team to keep going forward.
I expect the Clippers to respond to this loss and their coach’s commentary. With time the chemistry will build and I’m certain we’ll get back to the exciting brand of basketball we witnessed last year.
If you want to check out Doc’s entire post-game conference, along with even more criticisms for his team, check out the audio below.
…what we lacked was heart. I don’t mind being tired, and we can use that as an excuse, but listen, I just know me. If I’m tired and getting my butt kicked, I’m going to leave the game with no fouls left. That, to me, was just weak on our part.