Maybe the Clippers are believing the hype. Maybe the Clippers are believing they are an elite NBA team already. Maybe the Clippers are believing they are ready for prime time.
Well, the Clippers now know they have a long ways to go, a 116-103 loss to the Lakers in their home game at Staples Center a telling sign for the Clippers.
“When you’re anointed before doing it, people are going to attack you,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said after the game Tuesday night. “And we’re going to have to get used to that type of energy every night. People are going to play you like you won something, even though we haven’t.”
The Clippers failed to match the Lakers’ energy, especially that of the Lakers’ bench.
The Clippers saw the Lakers’ bench score 76 points and grab 32 rebounds. The Clippers saw the Lakers’ bench collect 15 of their team’s 18 offensive rebounds.
The Clippers' nonexistent defense saw the Lakers make 49.4% of their shots, 38.1% of their three-pointers.
The Clippers’ defense got ripped in the fourth quarter, giving up a whopping 41 points.
“We’ve been harping on our defense all preseason long,” Chris Paul said. “And for it to let us down like that, it’s tough.”
The Clippers were outrebounded, 52-40. The Clippers turned the ball over 16 times. The Clippers gave up 30 second-chance points.
“It showed us a lot,” Blake Griffin said. “It showed us we’ve got to work on a lot of things. We can’t just show up. We’ve got to bring. We’ve got to bring intensity.”