Nov 27, 2012, 1:46 PM EDT
The Clippers are struggling — 1-4 in their last five. The why is that two of the reasons they showed so much improvement at the start of the season have regressed — their defense has been a total mess the past week plus and DeAndre Jordan has reverted to his old self. That and defenses are now paying attention to Jamal Crawford as the sixth man. Teams have adjusted to the Clippers, now they have to counter those moves.
That has yet to happen. And after the Clippers ugliest loss of the season Monday night to the Hornets, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin made interesting comments as relayed by the Orange County Register. First Blake.
“We tried to change some of the things we’ve been successful doing,” Griffin said.
And CP3, via twitter:
CP3 said #Clippers lost to “a less-talented team that was well coached.”
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) November 27, 2012
Be careful reading too much into this last comment, Paul played for Monty Williams in New Orleans and has said in the past how much he respects him. This likely was not intended as a shot across the bow of Vinny Del Negro. Even if it can feel like one.
But the question remains — can Del Negro help turn this Clippers team around and help make them contenders?
And will Chris Paul — who is a free agent next summer and not been afraid to use that leverage to ask for players like Crawford to come to Los Angeles — be willing to use that on the coach?
He wasn’t last summer. Both Griffin (who got a max extension) and Paul had leverage but didn’t use it to pressure for a coaching change. Sources said that was in part because they didn’t want to be seen as coach killers, especially for a coach who had just taken the franchise as deep as it had gone in the playoffs in decades.
But that’s different than trusting him totally.
There is another dynamic here — reports are that then Clippers GM Neil Olshey wanted to make a coaching change in the middle of last season. He wasn’t given the okay. Now Olshey is gone (to Portland) and reports are owner Donald Sterling really likes Del Negro.
There is not a lot of pressure on Del Negro yet, the Clippers are not going to follow the pattern of their building-mates and try to make a pre-emptive move to change coaches. He is safe. But there will be pressure building on Del Negro if the Clippers do not take a step forward as the season wears on and into the playoffs.
And while the Clippers stars are not intentionally hammering their coach in public right now, their inadvertent comments seem to suggest all is not well in Clippers land. Which is obvious from the last five games.
Jul 10, 2014, 1:25 AM EDT
Rockets have 72 hours to match
Jul 10, 2014, 12:08 AM EDT
Flip Saunders has been patient all along, that’s not changing now.
Jul 9, 2014, 11:26 PM EDT
Toronto keeping core together from successful 2013-14 team
Jul 9, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Does that bode better for Heat or Cavaliers?
Rockets can’t keep Dwight Howard, James Harden and Chandler Parsons and give Chris Bosh max contract
Jul 9, 2014, 10:32 PM EDT
Has Bosh decided on signing with Houston if LeBron James leaves Heat anyway?
Jul 9, 2014, 9:34 PM EDT
Is any of this really helping Sterling’s case? Who knows. But it’s great drama.
Jul 9, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT
Former Pistons coach Lawrence Frank, former Bucks coach Larry Drew could follow
Jul 9, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT
Scott has always been the frontrunner.
Jul 9, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT
What’s next for LeBron, Cavaliers and Heat?
Jul 9, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT
Houston would have 72 hours to match max or near-max offer
Jul 9, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT
Popovich used to joke he was leaving when Duncan does, but he’s having fun now.
Jul 9, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
LeBron James’ max: $118,705,300 over five years
Carmelo Anthony’s max: $129,135,810 over five years
Jul 9, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT
It’s a real long shot, but if the Cavs actually land LeBron they should swing for the fences.
Jul 9, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT
The NBA business is good.
Jul 9, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT
He was never really in the mix to join LeBron anywhere, the two hadn’t been talking.
Charlie Villanueva launches ‘Crossroads’ webisode series documenting his free agency experience (VIDEO)
Jul 9, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT
Eight-part video blog series takes you behind the scenes.
Jul 9, 2014, 2:47 PM EDT
Maybe this isn the first domino of free agency, the question is what way it falls.
Jul 9, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT
A move from Miami to Cleveland, for example, wouldn’t be so bad.
Jul 9, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
The Pelicans need help at the three, Howard trying to prove he can still help at age 34.
Jazz expected to match Hornets’ max contract offer to Gordon Hayward, which is absolutely the right decision
Jul 9, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT
Small market teams like Utah and Charlotte don’t have much of a choice.
- Reports: LeBron James and agent done meeting with teams 46
- Rockets can’t keep Dwight Howard, James Harden and Chandler Parsons and give Chris Bosh max contract 35
- Donald Sterling in court calls wife “pig,” promises to sue NBA “until I die” 28
- Report: LeBron James leaves meeting with Pat Riley without committing to Heat 82
- Report: Mavericks shake up Rockets’ free-agent plans, agree to offer sheet with Chandler Parsons 36
- Gregg Popovich agrees to extension with Spurs, likely stays past Tim Duncan era 26
- Report: Cavaliers want to swing Kevin Love trade if LeBron James comes to town 49
- NBA salary cap jumps nearly $5 million next year to $63 million, luxury tax line $76.8 million 7