Clippers point guard Baron Davis has taken some early season heat for being out of shape, which he has admitted too. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro is not too happy about it, and it is one of a few reasons why the Clippers are off to a bad start. Photo by Craig Bennett
By Tamara Latta
Sentinel Sports Writer
With only one week into the regular season, the Clippers are trying to solve a problem that remains unanswered. They continue to suffer the same injury that pretty much haunted them last season, and that’s winning ball games. Despite all the hype rookie Blake Griffin is bringing to Clipper nation, they’re still unable to find their identity as a team.
After a fresh start with head coach Vinny Del Negro, they have yet to show him favor. The Clippers have started 0-3 for three straight seasons. Who should we blame?
The sluggish start has put veteran point guard Baron Davis in the hot seat. He’s the leader on the team so all fingers are being pointed at him. It started back in September, when Davis supposedly reported to training camp out shape.
“He’s got to get smarter about it,” Del Negro said. “He’s not 22 anymore. He’s 31. He’s got to do a better job in the off-season in condition, understanding his responsibility, and he needs to play.
“By not preparing the right way, he’s hurting himself and more importantly it’s hurting the group”.
Davis was once the face of the franchise but is slowly fading away. His employment in Los Angeles is guaranteed for two more years. Will he complete the remainder of his five-year, $65 million dollar contract? I’m actually thunderstruck he’s still with the organization- as we all know, the Clippers will ship you out faster than Fed-Ex can deliver packages.
It’s hard to figure out what the objection could be within the franchise. I actually predicted the Clips to have a good season this year, being that Griffin and Gordon have worked so hard to become a factor for their team. Again, evaluating this team on paper you would give them a favorable opportunity. I know it’s still early in the season, but this is not the kind of start you’d want.
We can sit here and try to blame the woes on the curse that has been hanging around in the Clippers locker room, or we can face reality and say the effort and energy level is deficient. Whatever the matter maybe, a tune-up can help repair a portion of the problem.
Let’s start with chemistry. I just don’t see the connection with players on the floor. The ammunition isn’t there. They just don’t look like a team that’s ready to run their opponent out of the building.
Next up would be playing 48 minutes of basketball. I’m convinced that the Clips are playing the victim, when it comes to finishing the last 24 minutes strong. It seems like the visiting team is saving all their energy for the fourth quarter. Scouts are most definitely informing their employer, that they tend to run out of gas in the fourth quarter. Also, inconsistency is playing a very big role in this massacre.
I just hope that the new Coach has destroyed the previous playbooks. The players have got to work as a unit, and try to figure out the pieces to the puzzle. The ball remains in their court.