Clippers play addition by subtraction with injuries
Every game this post-trade deadline collection of Clippers plays has been viewed as an opportunity to grow as one.
They are essentially learning on the fly because the lineup seemingly changes every night, and that presents the Clippers with the even bigger challenge of trying to mesh as a unit.
Guard Austin Rivers just returned for the last two games after an injured right ankle sidelined him for 18. But just as the Clippers got him back, a sore right foot sidelined point guard Milos Teodosic for the last two games.
On top of all of that, the Clippers still are trying to incorporate Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley into the system after they arrived in a trade from the Detroit Pistons.
They had won three consecutive games following the trade, but the loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night proved to the Clippers that they still have room for improvement.
“I think we’ve just got to continue to get to know one another,” Harris said. “Our chemistry always has to keep improving. We’ve got to take steps forward with it.
“Offensively, I think we’ve just got be able to move the ball a little more, trust each other and get some open looks.”
The Clippers (28-26) get another chance to make progress when they meet the Brooklyn Nets (19-38) on Monday night. Then the Clippers travel to Boston to play the Celtics (40-18) on Wednesday night to finish the four-game trip.
At 1-1 on this trip, the Clippers recognize how important it is for them to play at a high level as they chase a playoff spot. They are half a game behind the New Orleans Pelicans (29-26) for the eighth and final spot in the West.
“The goal is to win the next two games on this trip,” Harris said. “Obviously we want to bounce back in Brooklyn and get a win and go to Boston and have a hard-fought battle with them and try to win it. It’s one game at a time, but the next game we have to come out and take a step forward.”
The Clippers have six players averaging double figures in scoring, and two more averaging nine points.
By getting everyone involved, the Clippers say, that gives them a better chance at winning.
“As long as we bring our intensity like we’ve been doing every game, we’ll give ourselves a very good chance to win,” Danilo Gallinari said. “Like I said, our intensity has to be up for 48 minutes. We can’t have any letups.”
When: 4:30 p.m. PST, Monday
On the air: TV — Prime Ticket; Radio — 570, 1330.
Update: The Nets have lost five consecutive games and nine of their last 10. They give up 109.6 points a game, the fifth most in the NBA.
Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner
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