Five takeaways from the Clippers’ 91-80 loss to the Toronto Raptors
Here are five takeaways from the Clippers’ 91-80 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday:
1. There was yelling in the locker room
After the Clippers fell to the Raptors, yelling could be heard coming from the Clippers’ locker room. The Clippers had just lost their third consecutive game -- two of which came down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Their record is below .500, and they’ve lost five of their last seven games.
Said Clippers Coach Doc Rivers: “I’d rather have the explosions during the game; after the game it’s too late.”
2. Clippers had a terrible start
The Clippers entered halftime trailing by 29 points, a hole from which they were never able to recover. In those first 24 minutes, the Clippers had as many turnovers (13) as field goals (13). Blake Griffin was scoreless and Chris Paul had two points.
“You put so much pressure on yourself by the way you start,” Rivers said. “This is on me. I have to fix this.”
3. Chemistry is apparently not to blame
This is the fifth season that Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have played together, yet despite all of their talent and time together, they apparently still haven’t quite figured it out. Rivers couldn’t pinpoint exactly what is wrong with the team, but he was quick to point out what isn’t the issue.
Said Rivers: “We have no chemistry problems. We’re just not playing well.... I think guys thought we would play well out of the gates, and we’re not, and they’re frustrated.”
4. Clippers had a good third quarter
Before the Clippers played the Raptors, Rivers said that the team’s problem so far has been their lackluster third quarters. The Clippers had many issues Sunday, but that wasn’t one of them. The Clippers outscored the Raptors, 21-8, in the third quarter, and went on a 20-2 run extending from late in the third to midway through the fourth to cut their deficit to six points with 7 minutes and 30 seconds left.
Said Rivers: “If there’s a silver lining, it’s that we finally didn’t play awful in the third quarter.”
5. Rivers tried to take the blame
The Clippers are obviously not where they want to be, and the coach says that’s his fault. They’re not rebounding well, they’re not closing, and they’re not playing all 48 minutes. They’ve had way too many late-game defensive lapses, followed by Sunday’s early collapse.
Said Rivers: “I’m not proud of anybody right now, including me.”
He even went on to say that even if the issue is effort, the responsibility falls on him.
“If they’re not playing harder, that’s on me too because I have to figure out a way of getting them to do that,” Rivers said.
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