After a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Doc Rivers had a lot to say about his team’s body language:
“We did a lot of pouting in the game,” Rivers said Saturday. “You can’t play that way. You have to keep playing. I always call them emotional hijacks, and we had a lot of that going on. That happens, but you have to be able to pull yourself out of it individually or as a group, and I don’t think we did a good job of that.”
via Rivers knocks Clippers’ ‘pouting’ | ESPN LA
This isn’t uncommon amongst the core group of players. I’v mentioned this many times before, but when this team gets punched in the mouth, instead of coming back harder, they look overwhelmed and the body language displays the anguish they are feeling. Considering this team is considered to be a championship contender alongside the Miami Heat‘s and San Antonio Spurs‘ of the NBA, this type of attitude combined with the adversity that happens to all teams come playoff time, this could be a bad match.
But isn’t that what Doc Rivers was brought here for? Sure it had a lot to do with replacing Vinny Del Negro and upgrading the way the Clippers operated on the floor, but Rivers was supposed to change the culture of the franchise, forcing the players to embody what him. Not that I’m blaming Doc here, but you’d hope that the players on this team would mature with him on the sideline.
Rivers also had this to say on the situation:
“When we become a good team, if we become a good team, it will be because we miss 30 shots in a row and you wouldn’t know it,” Rivers said. “We just keep playing. You get some bad calls on you and you just keep playing. Right now we’re not at that point maturity-wise.”
This road trip is the perfect setting to see if they can take a hit without mentally breaking.