Clippers study a playoff-opening loss, then it’s time to plan for Game 2 — and stay upbeat

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The Clippers have two days to process a stinging, playoff-opening loss and change the tone of the series in which they now find themselves trailing the Utah Jazz.

They have two days to watch film and practice and find a way to reclaim the home-court advantage they have surrendered to the very capable Jazz.

They have two days to dwell and then move forward as Game 2 of their Western Conference best-of-seven playoff series approaches on Tuesday night at Staples Center.


“Doc talks about being comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Clippers guard J.J. Redick said Sunday about conversations coach Doc Rivers has had in the past about adverse situations.

“It’s an uncomfortable situation being down in any series, so we have to, we obviously have to take care of home court from here on out. That’s got to be a focus just to win Game 2 and even this series up. Then the rest of it, winning a road game and getting home court back, we’ll deal with later. But the focus has to be on Game 2 right now.”

Sunday was more of a day for the Clippers to watch film of their inadequacies and their positives.

Monday will be more of a day for preparing their game plan.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a loss hard,” forward Blake Griffin said. “I think there is a problem with overreacting to a loss. But I feel like we’re not at that point. A lot of guys have played enough playoff games to know it’s truly a series. Everybody says that. But we’ve been up 2-0 several times and lost a series [to Portland]. We’ve been up 3-1 and lost a series [to Houston]. We’ve lost a first game and won a series. So it doesn’t really matter, you know?”

The Clippers remain confident. They are not down about where they stand after the first game, which they lost on a last-second shot by Joe Johnson.

“It’s the playoffs,” Redick said. “Nobody died. No one has cancer, that I know of. Like, it’s the playoffs. You’re not going to go 16-0. You move to the next game. You make your adjustments. You try to win the next one. There’s no grieving going on.”

It was widely assumed that the game had quickly changed in favor of the Clippers when Jazz center Rudy Gobert went down early in the first quarter with what has turned out to be a hyperextended and bruised left knee, and didn’t return. The Jazz haven’t given a timetable for his return, but Gobert will not play in Game 2.

But when Utah’s defensive ace went down, the Clippers were unable to take advantage.

Griffin was asked if the Clippers’ game plan was thrown off course because it had been so devoted to having Gobert in the game.


“Not just necessarily to Gobert, but tendencies, plays running with his strength and his tendencies in mind,” Griffin said. “It’s kind of something I thought about last night on the way home. It’s like sometimes when that happens, it shakes up your game plan a little bit. But still, we have to be better, just in our principle, and the rules of our defensive principles are the things that don’t ever change. We have to be better.”


The Clippers remain in discussion about buying their own NBA Development League team, an organization official said. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and Rivers have talked about it for a while and are trying to work out details of possibly having a team for the start of the 2017-18 season that perhaps would play in Ontario.

Twitter: @BA_Turner