Everyone, it seems, is playing pop psychologist, diagnosing the problems of a team widely expected to contend for the Western Conference title that has gotten off to an underwhelming start.
With the Lakers winless through the season's first five games, the Clippers could color Los Angeles red and blue beyond their "BE RELENTLESS" ads adorning buildings and billboards. It hasn't happened.
"This is a chance for the Clippers to take over the city and they don't want it," Hall of Fame shooting guard and TNT analyst Reggie Miller said Friday in a phone interview. "You should have people in the barber shop buzzing about the Clippers. As opposed to talking about their effort, they should be saying, 'Did you see that play?'"
A more common refrain after the season's first week: Oy vey.
The Clippers are 3-2 but were blown out by
"When I read about team meetings in the league, I'm thinking, 'I hope we play them next,'" Rivers said Friday. "We all know we didn't play hard. I don't think I need a team meeting for that."
Some of the Clippers' problems are more easily quantifiable. They rank last in the
"In my opinion, offense will never be the problem with the Clippers," Miller said. "It's can they stop you, can they give you multiple efforts on plays? Reading between the lines of Doc's comments, he's not seeing those multiple efforts."
Point guard Chris Paul said the Clippers aren't getting the steals that usually generate their Lob City attack.
The Clippers also haven't gotten much out of the small forward spot besides a surprising 12-point outburst from
Griffin acknowledged taking too many mid-range jumpers, saying he wanted to spend more time closer to the basket. He's taken nearly as many shots between 16 feet and the three-point line (39) as he has within 10 feet of the basket (43). Even more troubling to him, he took only one free throw against the Warriors.
"I don't think I should ever go through a game where I only shoot one free throw, and it has nothing to do with the officiating," Griffin said. "It has to do with me personally attacking" the basket.
One observer who watched the Warriors' demolition of the Clippers has remained Zen about the team's prospects.
"I think everybody in Clipperland has to do the Aaron Rodgers thing right now," ESPN analyst and former
Van Gundy said what's more important than the Clippers' spotty play is what they do next. They play the
It's a chance to start resembling the team the Clippers want to be. Of course, even a blowout victory wouldn't end their concerns.