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No matter the tack, the direction is wrong

November 17, 2008|Lisa Dillman | Dillman is a Times staff writer.

Familiarity was supposed to make things better, not worse, for the Clippers.

That was the mantra once the injured players returned.

Instead, there has been a startling regression in their last two games since the lone victory, a victory at home against Dallas last week.

"There's no question about that," Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said in the aftermath of Saturday's embarrassment against the Golden State Warriors. "You can't be saying the same thing all the time. There's got to be some results showing. And you can't be making the same mistakes all the time. But the main thing is you have to acknowledge it."

Dunleavy looked at the nodding heads in the interview room.

"I mean, you're hearing what I'm saying and shaking your heads yes," he said. "If the players don't shake their heads yes, then that's a problem. If they don't acknowledge the fact that's an issue, you'll have a hard time solving it."

Clippers center Chris Kaman thought it may have been a case of "maybe five guys not doing enough."

"It's not like any one person doing one thing wrong," he said. "It's a combination of us together not being on the same page about everything: offense, defense, execution. There's so many things you can do that we're not doing right.

"Coach is throwing a lot of different lineups in there. Some guys are trying to adjust to that a little bit. There's a lot of things going on. We're a good team. We have great players here. We have to figure it all out. We need to figure it out soon."

They've often been miserable defensively.

Of their eight losses, the Clippers have given up more than 100 points six times.

Dunleavy hinted -- well, more than hinted -- that ramifications could be looming.

"If you're going to be stubborn about it, then you're going to have to pay the price as far as minutes," he said. "It's going to come down to playing time. There's going to be a consequence here."

He was asked how many of the players in the locker room are nodding in agreement.

Said Dunleavy: "I don't know that at this point. We'll find out as we go forward here a little bit."


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