The LA Clippers have lost three in a row, and head coach Vinny Del Negro is one unhappy fella.
The Indiana Pacers hung on for a tough 109-106 road win last night, and Del Negro ripped his team for its inability to break out of their current slump. Vinny blames a lack of effort, inattention to detail on the defensive end, and poor play from the starting unit.
Per ESPN and the LA Daily News:
After Del Negro called out his players for their lack of effort in a loss to the Houston Rockets Saturday night, then wondered aloud if it would be present Monday night, the Clippers no-showed for much of the game. A bench-led rally provided them a couple of chances to tie the game near the end on a pair of 3-pointers, but it would have been an undeserved reward for an incomplete performance. Del Negro didn’t even bite on a question that tried to spin the conversation toward the valiant effort by the backup group of Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford, Ryan Hollins, Lamar Odom and Matt Barnes. “I’m just disappointed,” Del Negro said after the Pacers prevailed 109-106. “Just not enough effort from the starters to get us off to a good start, or a consistent 48 minutes of effort.”
“We played great in the second half,” Chris Paul said. “It was just that we had to play almost perfect in order to win.” [...] “Our first unit, it was disappointing how we played,” Paul said. “We didn’t come out and play with any type of intensity, we weren’t getting stops and if not for our second unit … the game would have been over a long time ago and I think that starts with me.”
Chris Paul and his teammates accepted the blame for the poor outing, but that can only go so far.
Should the Clippers’ woes continue come Playoff time — they’ve lost 6 of their last 10 ballgames, and are hanging on to the 4th spot in the Western Conference — the glare will turn solely to Vinny Del Negro. That’s just the way things work in the NBA.