Clippers center DeAndre Jordan grabs an offensive rebound in front of Celtics… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
Lately, the Clippers haven't been getting nearly enough production out of two of their starters.
And because center DeAndre Jordan and small forward Caron Butler have been so inconsistent, the Clippers have struggled as a team and it has put more pressure on Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to provide most of the offense.
Randy Foye, who is the starting shooting guard, has been solid. Mo Williams, the top reserve, has been strong off the bench as a scorer.
Butler was averaging 12.7 points and 3.8 rebounds before Monday night's game against the Boston Celtics, and Jordan was averaging 7.3 points and 8.7 rebounds.
It's just that Butler and Jordan have been so up and down in recent games.
Butler has scored in double figures only twice in his last five games. He scored two points in two of those games and was scoreless in the other.
"He has to be aggressive," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We have to do a better job getting him the ball. We've talked about that."
Jordan has scored only 20 points in his last five games, and that was after scoring eight points at Houston.
"We need to have him play better, have him play more consistent with his energy and his effort," Del Negro said. "And, yeah, if he does that, then we'll go to him a little bit."
Del Negro wants Jordan to hustle for more offensive rebounds, to run on the fastbreak and to score when he gets lob passes.
But that's not all.
Del Negro wants Jordan to get his defensive edge back.
"Yeah, younger players seem to let other areas affect them," Del Negro said. "He's got to be engaged in his role and know that it's not always going to be plays run through him. It's going to be getting it off the glass and setting screens and diving and getting easy ones.
"When he's active, with his athleticism, he makes an impact on the game. And when he doesn't, it hurts us."
In the past, the Clippers have gone to Butler early in an attempt to get him going.
That was the case again Monday night against the Celtics.
Butler had four points on two-for-three shooting in the first quarter.
"When he scores, he gives us another dimension that puts a lot more pressure on teams," Del Negro said. "And we need that. When Caron and Mo score, it opens a lot for Chris and Blake."
Del Negro has found that Reggie Evans and Eric Bledsoe provide plenty of energy off the bench for the Clippers.
"Bledsoe has played well. I thought Reggie played well [against Golden State]," Del Negro said. "It's hard to get Eric the consistent minutes he deserves. He gives us a level of athleticism and speed and pushed the tempo and gets us running, and we do get more easy baskets."
Kenyon Martin, who sat out the last two games because of bruised ribs, played Monday night against the Celtics.
Martin wore a flak jacket to protect his ribs during the game.