Even though the Clippers won Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against San Antonio on Sunday, they know they have to make a lot of adjustments to be successful in Game 2, which is Wednesday evening at Staples Center at 7:30 p.m.
“We have to be better than we were last game,” Matt Barnes said Wednesday morning. “Although we won, over the last two days we watched plenty of areas we need to improve in — 50-50 balls, offensive rebounds, defensive coverages. We’ve made a few adjustments and we know we’ve got to be better, especially against a team like San Antonio.”
The defending champion Spurs had an off shooting night in the Clippers’ 107-92 win Sunday.
In that game, the Clippers led by as many as 20 points as they outshot the Spurs from the field, 51.3% to 36.6%, and from three-point range, 55.6% to 30.3%. The Spurs also made only 14 of 26 free-throw attempts, 53.8%.
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul combined for 58 points, more than half of the Clippers’ total. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker combined for only 21 points.
When the home team wins Game 1 of a seven-game NBA playoff series, that team wins the series 85% of the time.
The Clippers, however, know that one victory is nothing to celebrate. After all, the Spurs have lost their playoff opener three times in years when they won the NBA championship.
Paul noted Wednesday morning that there’s an old saying that the playoffs don’t start until a team loses on their home court.
“We don’t need the playoffs to start tonight,” Paul said. “We need to keep doing what we’ve been doing and take care of home.”
The Clippers’ superstar point guard added that Game 2 is a completely different beast from Game 1.
“I think it’s a lot different,” Paul said. “Game 1 is kind of that feel-out game to see what everybody is doing. Game 2 is the opportunity to make adjustments.”