On the surface, the Clippers keep maintaining that they won’t crumble under the heavy weight of this tumultuous season.
A nine-game losing streak has the Clippers reeling and it is testing their resolve. Will they fight through the rough patch or will they fracture?
“I think for the most part our team has done a pretty good job of not splintering during this time,” Blake Griffin said. “We feel that we’re close.”
Coach Doc Rivers, as he has been so many times during the losing stretch, was asked how the Clippers pick up the scattered pieces?
“Well, you have to. You have no choice,” Rivers said. “You just got to keep fighting. It’s so easy to point fingers and blame and look here and look there. At the end of the day, each guy has got to do his job. I’ve got to do my job and everybody has got to play better.
“I’ve got to do a better job. The players have to do a better job. We just have to keep working on it. … The bottom line is we can’t sustain anything. We get it going, one thing happens and it just implodes.”
The Clippers’ locker room was quiet after the defeat Monday to the New York Knicks.
Some players rushed out before the media was allowed in and others eased their way past reporters before they could be asked questions they don’t seem to have answers for.
“When you lose nine games in a row, you’re in a losing streak, you start feeling sorry for yourself when things don’t go right,” Rivers said. “You can’t do that.”
The last time the Clippers lost this many consecutive games was during the 2010-11 season, when they lost nine straight games from Nov. 5-20.
Griffin was a rookie on that team and DeAndre Jordan was in his third season.
“It’s basketball. It’s ups and downs throughout the season,” Griffin said. “We’ve been banged up, been on the road. Whatever it is, I think as a team we know this isn’t going to be the end. We have a chance to turn this around.”
Griffin shouldered some of the blame, saying he has to more of a force.
His offense has been spotty over the last 10 games. He’s averaging 22.3 points per game, but he is shooting just 38.2% from the field, 30.6% from three-point range.
The Clippers’ third primary offensive weapon, Austin Rivers, has struggled as well. Over the last 10 games, he has averaged 13.6 points, but has shot 36.1%.
“We’ll come out and play well in stretches, but haven’t put it together,” Griffin said. “That’s on me. I have to do a better job of leading us and getting us in position to be better.”
When: Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. PT
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570.
Update: The Clippers, who have lost 11 of their last 12 games, have defeated the Hawks three of the last four games. The Hawks (3-14) have the worst record in the Eastern Conference and the second-worst in the NBA. They are tied for 21st in the league in scoring (102.8) and are 24th in points allowed (107.8).
Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner