There was a cut-and-paste feel to the Clippers' 109-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday at the Smoothie King Center. The Clippers were going against a largely no-name team only to look like a bunch of nobodies themselves. Here are five takeaways from the game:
1. It was another clunker against a team missing half its roster. The Clippers clearly didn’t learn from their previous game against the
2. At least the Clippers won’t see these sorts of teams in the playoffs. Wait, what? Never mind. The short-handed Grizzlies are likely to be the Clippers’ opponent in the first round barring a collapse over the next three weeks. That means the Clippers will need to adjust their mind-set against a team that will be missing key players. “We’ve got to stop playing with these teams that we should beat,” Clippers guard
3. Austin Rivers has not made an appreciable difference since he returned from a broken hand. In his last 10 games, he's actually averaging more points (8.6) and shooting a higher percentage on three-pointers (34.5%) than his season averages, but the guard has been part of a second unit that has largely settled for jump shots and struggled to defend consistently. "We should know who we are but obviously we're not [whole] yet," Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said. "We're working Austin back in and then we're going to have to work Blake [Griffin] back in. A little disjointed right now, but we'll figure it out. We'll figure out the kinks."
4. Could the Clippers open the playoffs on the road in Memphis? They're still 3 1/2 games up on the Grizzlies with 13 games left in the regular season and the Grizzlies missing stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, among others. It's probably going to be hard for Memphis to overtake the Clippers in the battle for the No. 4 seeding, which entails home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Regardless, it seems almost certain the Grizzlies and Clippers will meet in the first round.
5. The Clippers will go 1-4 on this trip unless they beat