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CLIPPERS FYI

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade notice inconsistencies in Clippers' performance

The Miami Heat stars say the Clippers must show the same effort every game, not only when they play top-tier teams such as the Lakers, Heat and Spurs.

January 13, 2011|By Lisa Dillman

Interesting that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade managed to get to the salient point, quickly, about the Clippers.

Clearly, they noticed — then again, hasn't everyone? — that the Clippers are one team against Miami, the Lakers and San Antonio and a wildly different group on the court against Minnesota, Indiana and Philadelphia.

James and Wade talked about the Clippers in a late-night news conference after the Clippers beat the Heat, 111-105, on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

Wade could call on his own memories about having once played on a young, inconsistent team.

"Once we got it going and we figured it out, we became a pretty tough team to play, especially at home," he said. "You've got to have this kind of effort every night to be that kind of team, especially in the Western Conference.

"They [the Clippers] see what they did right here and they can turn this franchise around, to being whatever everyone wants it to be, one of the top franchises in the NBA."

James had something to say on the issue too. According to Clippers rookie Eric Bledsoe, who, incidentally, blocked a shot by James, the Heat star has been watching quite a few Clippers games this season.

Bledsoe and James share the same management group, and James talked about what a young team has to do to take that next step.

"You have to show up every night," James said. "You can't just show up against the Heat. Or show up for the Lakers or the Celtics. It's easy to get up for those games. You have sellouts: 19,000 fans.

"It's easy to get up for those games. When you are playing some of the teams, [that] record-wise are not that good, you still play with that intensity. For a young team, it's very difficult at times."

James glanced down at the final box score. He called Blake Griffin "explosive and definitely one of the best young talents we have in this league," and also thought Griffin and DeAndre Jordan formed the most athletic frontcourt in the league.

"They have some veterans — Baron Davis is a veteran," James said. "Ryan Gomes is a veteran. Eric Gordon has been in the league for a few years.

"They have veterans that should make them understand that you can't just show up when you play some of the top-tier teams," James said.

The next time the Clippers and Heat meet will be at Miami in early February. Said James of the Clippers: "They held serve on their home court."

Etc.

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro gave his team the day off Thursday. The Clippers play the Golden State Warriors in Oakland on Friday night.

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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