After being outscored 21 to 10 in the fourth quarter and losing another road game, Vinny Del Negro did not seem too pleased.
“Well there’s frustration there’s no question. Hey, you got to come ready to play every night, and you can’t take plays off. The guys out there I thought they were playing hard, most of the time. We just struggled with some of our execution. And then, we didn’t get it done the stretch, that’s how it is.” Del Negro said. “Everyone missed some shots. We struggled from the field a little bit tonight. That’s what you get. Close doesn’t matter, you got to win the game, and that’s how it works”
When asked what the Clippers need to do to get back on track, “Start playing more as a team. Start sharing the basketball on offense a little bit more. Start having a little bit more of a sense of urgency defensively. Taking accountability. Obviously, we missed a lot of free throws, which put a lot of pressure on us in other areas. So we have to be sharper in other areas to make up for the lack of shooting.”
The Clippers start a five-game home stand when they play the Clippers. The Clippers have are now currently in a three way tie for fifth place in the West, and if they plan on getting home-field advantage, then they will have to play much better in the 4th quarter then they have this month. Their 4th quarter woes are even more troublesome considering how well Chris Paul has played in the 4th quarter this year.
The Clippers are treading dangerous water in the West. The ninth-place Houston Rockets are only a game behind them, and it appears the Clippers need to be less focused on catching the Lakers in the Pacific, and more worried about possibly missing the Playoffs.
“Playing hard is not going to win it in this league all the time. You got to play effective and you got to play smart. We got to get better.” Chris Paul said. “This game right here. We’re sort of playing for two different things here, you know what I mean. They played with more of a sense of urgency than we did. We got to play more effective, be smarter. And different things like that, so we need some work.”
The great thing about Chris Paul is that he takes accountability, and he’s always looking to the next game or the next play. “Nobody gonna feel sorry for us, we got Memphis on Saturday; we got to be ready.”
If the Clippers keep losing and drop out of playoff seeding, it will be interesting to see if Chris Paul is “getting ready” without the services of Vinny Del Negro.