Los Angeles Clippers' Vinny Del Negro Needs To Make Sure Team is Always Ready

By John Raffel
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro maintains that his team didn’t play hard enough in Thursday’s 116-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Should the two teams meet in the NBA playoffs, Del Negro and his team should eventually know by now how hard they had better be playing if they want a chance to knock off the talented Spurs. They can’t allow the Spurs to shoot 58.1 percent again.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was humbled in the victory, saying that this team is not that good and the Clippers aren’t that bad. Well, nice of him to say but the fact remains that the Spurs are currently a superior team to the Clippers.

If by chance the two teams would meet in the playoffs, perhaps the tide would turn in the Clippers’ favor. Playoffs can be very unpredictable.

But All-Star MVP Chris Paul and another Clipper standout, Chauncey Billups, can never ever have the type of performance they turned in this week – or didn’t turn in –  against the Spurs if the two teams lock horns during the playoffs.

Paul was pathetic, compared to how he played in the All-Star game. In 27 minutes of action, he was 1-of-6 from the floor and 0-of-2 in three-point shots and scored six points. He did have three assists and also gave up three turnovers.

Billups, in nearly 17 minutes of action, scored six points, all on free throws. It’s Del Negro’s job to make sure they are ready and was not the case in this game. But he’ll have a chance to make sure they’re ready this week.

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