LOS ANGELES – The start of the season did not go as the Clippers may have expected.
But as Blake Griffin said after Tuesday’s opening night loss “the best thing about the NBA is that you get a chance to redeem yourself after the next couple of days.
“One game is not going to make or break our season,” Griffin added. “We just need to get back to work.”
That next opportunity comes in the form of the Golden State Warriors (1-0) in Thursday night’s home opener. The Clippers (0-1) had a heated four-game series last season with the team expected to be among the chief contenders for the Pacific Division crown in 2013-14.
After losing by four points in the third game of the year, the Clippers and Warriors played three times in a three-week period in January. They alternated blowout victories with the Clippers outwardly questioning the Warriors celebratory acts on the floor in Oakland and Warriors head coach Mark Jackson staring at the Clippers bench after three consecutive alley-oops from Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan extended the game to a 38-point margin in the third quarter at Staples Center.
Enter Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, who is seeking his first win since switching coasts, into the fray. Prior to Wednesday’s practice Rivers made it clear he was not going to overreact to losing the night before. Asked if the Clippers need the confidence boost of a win in their home opener, he said, “It would be nice. I think any time you win it’s good for your confidence and when you lose it tests your resolve.”
Their resolve was tested Tuesday, when the Lakers used a 41-point fourth quarter to turn the game upside down. And it will be again with Golden State in town on night two of a back-to-back.