Blake Griffin says Clippers are ‘pressing’

Blake Griffin says Clippers are ‘pressing’

first_imgBlake Griffin was one of the biggest offenders in the Clippers’ rather embarrassing 121-104 loss at Golden State on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena. He entered the game averaging 27.5 points, and was held to 14 by the Warriors.Moreover, the 6-foot-10 Griffin — typically a beast at 250 pounds — had only one rebound.But it’s not just Griffin. This Clippers team has struggled early on to match the intensity of other teams on a consistent basis. Even in the three games they’ve won, the Clippers (3-2) haven’t looked anything like the team they were a season ago. And the core group is back.STORY: Clippers name Gillian Zucker President of Business Operations Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Afterward, coach Doc Rivers said his team was “soft” and questioned its heart.“We struggled, there is no secret about it,” Griffin said, putting it mildly; the Clippers trailed by 29 points in the third quarter. “They were just better than us in every single way. We didn’t do anything we wanted to do and they looked like they did everything they wanted to do. We have to do better.”Griffin and every other returning player who endured this past season’s drama involving former owner Donald Sterling worked hard during the summer to get back at it under more favorable circumstances; they have a new and very likeable owner in Steve Ballmer.So far, it’s not working well.“I think sometimes we are pressing a little bit too much,” said Griffin, whose team next plays host to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Staples Center. “The good thing about all of this is that everybody is trying, everyone wants to win and everyone is ready to go. Sometimes you just have to calm down a little bit and let the system work itself.”center_img Point guard Chris Paul is the other leader of this team. He intimated this is a team still searching for some kind of identity, though it seems strange to hear him say that considering the entire starting lineup is back, as well as sixth man Jamal Crawford.“Tonight was no secret,” Paul said. “We are trying to find ourselves right now and we are trying to win at the same time, because you have to do that when you are in the West. It’s no secret that we are not playing the right way and we have to play better.”Or, as Rivers said: “Right now, this is not the same group from last year, and it’s the same group, so we’ve got to figure that out.”Rivers more than peevedRivers, the Clippers’ second-year coach, rarely gets emotional when dealing with reporters. But after emerging from the team’s locker room some 30 minutes after the game — typically, he takes about 10 minutes — one by one he ran down the things that ticked him off about the less-than-stellar effort of his players.The stat sheet showed him that in the first half, his team committed one foul. That is not what any coach wants to see, because it displays a lack of desire.“I’ve never been in a game where a team scores 65 points and we have one foul,” Rivers said; the Warriors led 65-42 at halftime. “That, to the core, bothers me to no end. I mean, I have never seen that before.“And I think the foul was late and it was a mistake; it probably wasn’t a foul. So for me, I’m doing something wrong because that’s as soft as you can probably get in a game. One foul at halftime? Are you (expletive) kidding me? I mean, that’s as bad as I’ve seen.”Also …The Warriors (4-0) made all 20 of their free throws Wednesday. … Did you see it? After hitting one of his four 3-pointers, the Warriors’ Draymond Green — running back down the court side by side with Griffin — stuck his tongue out at Griffin for a good long time while the two were very close to one another. … The teams next square off on Christmas Day at Staples Center.last_img

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