Clippers toughening up

During the offseason, Blake Griffin heard former teammate Chauncey Billups describe the Clippers forward as perhaps being “soft.”
Actually, there was a little lost in the translation, which Griffin discovered after talking to Billups.
It all stemmed from the pounding that Griffin took over the course of the season, with opponents pushing the envelope physically lest they end up on the wrong end of a monster dunk.
“I talked to Chauncey and he just said that at sometimes, instead of letting something go, maybe take some action,” Griffin said. “But that’s something I think I have to address at the time of the situation, because I don’t need to put my team in a bad situation by reacting or taking a punch for swing or anything like that.
“It’s one of those things where you have to address with how it comes. I’ve always been taught to always let your game do the the talking and not react and put your team in a bad situation.”
At the same time, the Clippers are well aware they have a bit of a reputation to reverse and there are few who can express it the way Matt Barnes can. After all, Barnes has never been afraid to stick his nose into the physical side of the game.
And Barnes hopes the Clippers’ efforts to toughen up aren’t lost on the team’s newcomers.
“Everyone saw the way Memphis kind of manhandled us, so to know that coming in and seeing us and playing with us in the summer they kind of knew that was on our minds,” Barnes said. “I don’t think it will be too hard for them to understand our hunger and our desire and really this is our chance to shine.
“We have a legitimate chance as an organization to win a championship, so that’s on everyone’s mind since the time they signed here — that a championship is realistic and that’s something we’re going to fight for, and anything less than that’s a failure.”

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