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Clippers' Vinny Del Negro has many improvements he wants to see

During the team's winning streak, the Clippers' coach still has a list of areas to work on, including rebounding and three-point defense.

December 27, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Vinny Del Negro wants the Clippers to improve on rebounding and three-point defense.
Vinny Del Negro wants the Clippers to improve on rebounding and three-point… (Jason Redmond / Associated…)

Don't tell Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro that his team doesn't have room to improve, because he'll tell you otherwise.

Don't tell Del Negro that his team is playing very well, because he'll tell you that his players still are making mistakes.

Yes, Del Negro admitted, some of that is just a coach talking.

But, he said, his players know that the season is still young and that they have a ways to go.

"Sometimes when you win, as coaches, you still see mistakes and things that we have to get better at," Del Negro said. "If you don't improve, eventually it's going to catch up to you. So it's a never-ending process."

Del Negro then listed improvements he wants to see from the team:

• Better rebounding.

• More trust on defense and better team chemistry.

• Become a complete team when injured players Chauncey Billups (tendinitis in his left foot) and Grant Hill (bone bruise in his right knee) return.

• Continue to make athletic plays but be more efficient and cut down on turnovers.

• Better three-point defense.

"I can keep going if you want," Del Negro said. "But that's just a handful."

And he listed those demands as the Clippers were taking an NBA-best 14-game winning streak into their game Thursday against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center.

Still, the Clippers aren't one of the better teams against the outside shot, allowing teams to shoot 36.6% on three-pointers, 10th-highest in the NBA.

The Clippers have improved their rebounding during the winning streak but still aren't one of the top teams. They average 41.20 rebounds per game, 20th in the league.

"We're making a number of mistakes, that's for sure, but overall I think we're playing hard," Del Negro said. "We're playing better for longer stretches, which is good."

Clippers high in All-Star voting

The second round of the NBA All-Star balloting was announced on Thursday, and the Clippers have two players who would be starters on the Western Conference team.

Chris Paul was second in the voting for West guards with 542,564 votes, behind the Lakers' Kobe Bryant (977,444), the league's top vote-getter.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin is third among frontcourt players in the West with 489,795 votes, behind Kevin Durant (924,898) of Oklahoma City and Dwight Howard (616,150) of the Lakers.

twitter.com/BA_Turner broderick.turner@latimes.com

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