Prior to the Clippers loss to Washington Monday Lamar Odom offered his analysis on the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers the day before.
“Turnovers,” Odom said, referring to two critical 49ers miscues.
“Doesn’t matter what sport, what level or the stakes of the game,” Odom said. “If you don’t take care of the ball, it’s going to hurt you.”
He might as well have been talking about the Clippers and their recent 3-game losing skid.
Back-to-back losses to the Boston Celtics and Wizards were directly the result of the Clippers inability to secure the ball, specifically late in games when points and possessions are so critical.
Clean that aspect up and the Clippers could very well be looking at a winning streak.
As it is, it’s doomed them.
The Clippers turned it over 20 times against the Wizards Monday, including five over the final five minutes of a close game.
“I think our turnovers hurt us,” Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said. “Twenty’s too many against a team like this, especially with John (Wall) and how fast he is, getting down there and making plays. We really have to take care of the ball and value our possessions.”
But they’ve been preaching that same sermon for more than a week now, and with little improvement.
It doesn’t help starting point guard Chris Paul has been hurt and out of the lineup, an absence particularly felt late in games. But the Clippers have accentuated the issue with sheer carelessness.
“We just turned it over. Guys trying to do much and end up turning it over then they would get fast breaks, which end in an easy baskets,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “…We were trying to make plays we couldn’t make and ended up turning it over. It’s tough for us to close games out right now.”
NO WORD ON BLAKE:
The Clippers had the day off Tuesday in Orlando, with Griffin getting therapy on the left hamstring strain that kept him out of the loss to the Wizards.
He is listed as day to day, and his status for Wednesday’s game against the Magic will likely be determined at the team’s late-morning shootaround.