Clippers’ frustration boils over


VIDEO: Danny Granger, Rick Fox and Brent Barry discuss the Clippers’ locker-room issues.

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — Midway through the second quarter on Thursday, the Los Angeles Clippers had a 23-point lead on the 12-0 Golden State Warriors. Chris Paul hadn’t missed a shot and the champs were on the ropes.

A lot has changed since then. The Clips were outscored 92-62 over the final 30 minutes on Thursday, 25-8 when the Warriors went to their devastating small-ball lineup in the final six minutes. They went to Portland on Friday and got outscored 16-6 in the final 3:30 of what was a one-point game. And then they came back home and got thumped by the Toronto Raptors, trailing by 29 points at halftime.

As you might expect, that sequence of events has led to some frustration in Clipperland. As Dan Woike of the Orange County Register reports, there were some raised voices in the Staples Center locker room in the moments after Sunday’s embarrassing loss

Josh Smith and an unspecified Clipper coach were involved in a frustration-fueled argument following the Clippers’ 91-80 loss to Toronto Sunday.

Profanities and yelling made their way through the cement walls separating the Clipper locker room from an adjacent room where the media was waiting to speak to head coach Doc Rivers.

Rivers and Clipper players didn’t offer details on the incident.

“It’s (like any) locker room after you lose and play like that. Guys are upset,” Rivers said. “That’s about it.”

The Clippers are supposed to be contending for a championship again this year. But they’re 6-7, having lost seven of their last nine games, with issues on both ends of the floor. Summer additions Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson have all shot less than 40 percent, the Clips rank near the bottom of the league in 3-point percentage, and they’ve been the league’s worst defensive team over the last 2 1/2 weeks.

It’s still early in the season, but Thursday’s collapse seems to have been a powerful blow to the Clippers’ psyche.

21 Comments

  1. Garifuna says:

    Smith has underachieved with all his previous teams (expect for one season in ATL). Lance is just not a player that fits the Clipper formula, and Pierce is just too old to be efficient. The Clippers saw the right formula three years ago with Bledsoe running behind CP3, and since then they haven’t been the same really. This is pretty much their last season of doing anything notable, in which they haven’t really done that so far. I’m fine with it. I’ve watched them since 95.

  2. Common Sense says:

    First, the heat got this when they started horribly, then they went to the finals and eventually multiple championships. Current record at first twenty games doesn’t mean anything. It’s where they go from here. But truth be told, the Warriors are already there. The spurs, already there. The cavs, the…ok, I’m not saying they are the incoming Champs but I am saying that the first twenty games doesn’t mean anything

  3. juan paez says:

    I think the clippers need to trade deandre jordan and lance stephenson for demarcus cousins straight up then that would really givethem a real big three for sure and by the way he can make his free thows…………

  4. TJ Smith says:

    They are a pretty good team on NBA2K16. There are to many new faces and they need chemistry which is not going to happen with CP3 and Paul, Paul was better off in the east as you can see John Wall is on top of his game and a better PG than CP3, Jamal Crawford deserves better a true vet on a 50/50 team. I like Blake and DJ are the core right there everyone else should be expendable.

  5. Greatness says:

    The thing is that the Clippers could be one of the best teams in the league if they would work together better and DJ new how to make his own shot. It is obvious. They are stacked but that is also a problem because they each want the ball. That causes ball moving to stop and communication on and off the court to take a turn for the worst. If the Clippers don’t get to the WCF this year then they never will with the Spurs and GSW becoming better every season.

  6. krespino says:

    The situation in the Clippers team seems to be the exact opposite of that in the Warriors team: In the Warriors every player has sympathy and praises every other player, there is no one person that is not likeable to others. In the Clippers it seems they don’t like each other. And the big difference stems from the leaders of the two teams: Chris Paul is the most unlikeable player, I can’t see that any player would be loving him or respecting him, while Curry is… everything positive about him.

    • Ace says:

      The difference is that Curry is a great player but does not have to lead vocally or play defense whereas Paul has to lead a bunch of immature guys and also defend an elite pg every night. Imagine how great he would be if he had Klay, Iggy, Barnes, and Green to throw at opposing guards. People want to point to “clutch” play but never look at how a player gets to that point. There is no way a guy can have any energy through out a whole game when he’s tasked with guarding the best player on the other team and also creating for his team. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are the only creators they have whereas GWS, Spurs, Thunder and Cavs (title contenders) have numerous guys.

      Btw, only guy I’ve seen that defended the best player on the opposing team and still had enough energy to close the deal in the end is Michael Jordan. Kobe is very close as well but I’ve never seen another guy do that ever. If you look at all the “clutch” players over the past 30yrs besides those 2, the rest do not play lock down defense. Reggie Miller, Dirk, Nash, Parker, Steph, Iverson, Tmac, and Vince..it just does not happen

    • Garifuna says:

      Chris Paul is competitive and it probably rubs some people the wrong way. I can tell sometimes by the interaction between him and Blake. Bottom line is this squad won’t even make the west finals.

  7. krespino says:

    Trade Chris Paul and restart with a new understanding. As long as Chris Paul is there they will never win anything significant. Chris Paul is the hindrance for team chemistry and friendship and trust on each other. The Clippers with Chris Paul project is a failed one and the sooner the better that that reality is faced.

  8. krespino says:

    Let me tell you what the real problem is: Chris Paul. Have been telling this from day one he joined the Clippers. Wrong choice, wrong project. No team with C.Paul as its leader will ever win anything. You will see. It’s not about his personal stats or production as a PG, it’s his personality. The man is not likeable, he does not and can not create good chemistry; he makes the players around him feel bad. You could see that reality only if you watched him objectively.

  9. clopstersclips says:

    drop doc rivers, smith, and lance.
    this low IQ trio is terrible

  10. BallerNWatcher says:

    Paul Pierce as starting SF isn’t working out. It’s obvious it’s a sentimental decision.
    Josh Smith should’ve stayed in Houston.
    Lance Stephenson should’ve never been allowed to join due to his attitude and mental issues.
    Start investing in solid players with GOOD work ethics and attitudes.
    ‘Nuff said.

  11. Rocketman says:

    Josh Smith should have stayed in Houston but oh well not that they are doing any better either!

  12. cb says:

    Karma DeAndre karma

  13. Andylx says:

    Clippers are selfish. They are not playing for each other. Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith are horrible pick ups.

  14. they need to stop panicking and calm down. It’s still early.
    Learn to play hard together and trust each other as a team.

    Play hard and stop pointing fingers or casting blame or taking accountability or apologizing for letting your team down.
    Stop the drama. You want to get better, you have 70 more games and lots of time to practice.
    So practice. Watch tape, and practice to be more consistent.

    Stay cool and trust your coach, even if you are losing right now it doesn’t matter. Only thing that matters is learning so that you don’t lose again in May.

  15. Spoiled vino says:

    Yay! Where will LA fans goes now?

  16. Damien says:

    clippers are just horrible to watch…they play absolutely no D & their offensive is utter garbage..Doc should be fired ASAP..look what happened in Houston..the west is tough and i’m sure clips don’t wanna face a GS or SA team in the first round.

  17. The Lance and Josh Smith project obviously has not worked out. And I am not surprised by their overall performance this season. The same as every other year. This is the one team that gets so much recognition that is under deserved. I keep saying this; the Flippers are way overrated and this will round out Rivers last season with this team. Watch and see.

  18. dreamerworx says:

    Well, I think it was exactly Josh Smith that blew it – Clippers were on a roll, then he took a ill-advised three, allowed a wide open lay up, and the he made a stupid over the back foul that led to two more points from the free throw line. Bad, bad decisions all over the place.