The Clippers had set high standards during training camp and had met them early this season with a 14-2 start.
Now they have lost their last two games, each by double digits, and there has been slippage in their overall play.
This has become a source of consternation for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.
Jordan’s contention is that because he, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have been together for six seasons they have to be harder on themselves and their recent play is unacceptable.
“At this point, we have high expectations. We have got to try to meet those. We understand it. We get it,” Jordan said Sunday night after the Clippers lost by 21 points to the Indiana Pacers. “At the end of the day, we got to just man up and play. Play with some pride and emotion and intensity and the right way and the way that our coaches are coaching us to play.”
Griffin was hampered somewhat in the Pacers game because of right calf injury he suffered after being kicked during the Clippers’ loss at Detroit on Friday night.
But with three games left on this trip, Griffin wants the Clippers to make a stand.
“This is where you see what your team is really made of, when you have a bad stretch, a bad couple of games and it’s not so great,” Griffin said. “We’ve got to stay positive and remember what made us successful and stick to that.”
They are 7-3 over that stretch but have allowed 104.7 points per game, with their opponents making 45.9% of their shots and 41.1% of their three-point attempts and getting 10.2 offensive rebounds.
It was different in the Clippers’ first seven games, which left them with a 6-1 record as they held teams to only 85.7 points per game, 38.7% shooting, 31.3% on three-point shots and 9.9 offensive rebounds.
“We just got to figure this out,” Jordan said. “You go through slumps like this. But it just has to be a little better effort. I put a lot of that on me because that’s how I play. I guess I need to, I guess, come out with more of it to where it’s contagious.”
The Clippers are 1-2 on this trip and will play at Brooklyn on Tuesday night and Cleveland on Thursday night, and finish at New Orleans on Friday night.
“Every team goes through slumps and rough patches,” Jordan said. “But we just can’t let it affect us for too long. We’ve got to figure out a way to get out of it. Losing two in a row is not the team we want to be. We just got to watch film and get our spirit back and focus on Brooklyn now.”