The Clippers know they have a bit of a temper problem.
How’s this for a stat -- the Clippers had 57 technical fouls this season, while the Spurs have had 50 technical fouls over the last five seasons.
“We’re an emotional team, I’m an emotional player,” Matt Barnes said before Friday’s practice. “We have a problem getting on the refs, and they’re aware of that. We need to cut that out. I think we’ve done a good job as of late doing that.”
The Clippers have three of the 10 players in the NBA who have been called for getting the most technical fouls this season, according to ESPN -- Matt Barnes (No. 4 with 13 techs), Blake Griffin (No. 5 with 12 techs) and DeAndre Jordan (No. 9 with nine techs).
When the Clippers play the defending champion Spurs in their first-round playoff series, which begins Sunday at Staples Center, they know they’re going to have to play smart basketball.
“In the playoffs you can’t give anyone anything free, especially the Spurs,” Barnes said.
The Spurs only had eight technical fouls this season. The Clippers nearly surpassed that number in a single game in December against the Denver Nuggets, when they received seven technical fouls.
Even though the Spurs swept the Clippers out of the second round of the playoffs in 2012, the two teams have never developed a chippy rapport in the way that the Clippers have with other recent playoff foes, such as the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Barnes, however, said that doesn’t mean much.
“They’re a classy team that’s trying to beat you down, so that doesn’t help at all,” Barnes said. “We just know what we need to do. Like I said, you can’t give anybody points in the playoffs, especially to a team like that.”