Spencer Hawes says it is not yet time to hit the panic button

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Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Spencer Hawes wasn’t around in 2013-14, signing with the Clippers during the off-season. But the 7-foot-1 post’s assessment of this team seems to be right on the money.

“I think it’s obvious, there’s a lot of stuff we’re not doing right, a lot of things we need to address,” said Hawes, whose team is coming off a 121-104 defeat at the hands of Golden State on Wednesday night in Oakland; the Clippers trailed by as many as 29 points. “Until we can get together and start to do that, the results are going to be like they have been; there is not going to be that consistency. We’ve gotta play better individually, we’ve gotta play better as a unit; we have to play more together.

“And not just offensively. I think that’s kind of the thing that stands out. But I think defensively, the times we’ve done it, it’s just made everything so much easier.”

The Clippers are allowing opponents 104.2 points per game. Only the Lakers (116.8), Boston (109.3), Dallas (105.6), Denver (105.5) and Utah (104.2) are giving up more.

Hawes is not worried, yet.

“We’re not going to panic, but we’d rather be going through this now than in April,” he said. “There are a lot of things we have to address, and we don’t have a lot of time to waste.”

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Things to ponder ahead of Wednesday night’s game at Golden State

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Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson/Photo courtesy of Golden State Warriors, NBA.com

 

The Clippers will play at Golden State on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena. The Warriors are off to a 3-0 start, and statistically are leading the league in several individual and team categories.

- Shooting guard Klay Thompson is leading the league in scoring, averaging 29.7 points

- Point guard Steph Curry is leading the league in steals at 3.6 per game

- The Warriors have the best point differential in the league at plus-15.4

- The Warriors have allowed opponents to shoot just 39.5 percent from the field, lowest in the league

- The Warriors are averaging a league-high 11 steals

- The Warriors are forcing opponents into a league-high 22.3 turnovers per game

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Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke watches and learns from Chris Paul

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Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

Trey Burke

Trey Burke/Photo courtesy of Utah Jazz, NBA.com

 

Trey Burke, the second-year point guard for the Utah Jazz, did not have a good game Monday when the Clippers defeated Utah 107-101 at Staples Center. Burke scored six points on 1 of 5 shooting with four assists, four rebounds and four turnovers.

Burke, who will be 22 on Nov. 12, did pay close attention as Clippers point guard Chris Paul recorded a triple-double – 13 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

“He was aggressive and he was definitely a factor in tonight’s win for them,” Burke said post-game. “He got in the paint and made plays for them. It wasn’t like he was just scoring; he pretty much did everything else – rebounding, getting the open guys the ball. I can always learn playing against guys like him.”

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Jamal Crawford stoked about surpassing 15,000-point plateau

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Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

With his 19 points in Monday’s 107-101 victory over Utah at Staples Center, sixth-man Jamal Crawford surpassed the 15,000-point plateau for his career. He did it while playing with bruised ribs sustained in Friday’s victory over the Lakers.

Crawford was stoked.

“That was really cool,” Crawford said. “I didn’t know, I guess coming into the NBA, you are not really thinking like that. You are just trying to establish yourself and stick (in the league), honestly. I have seen so many guys come and go, and I didn’t get normal minutes until my third or fourth year in the NBA.”

Crawford, 34, now has 15,003 career points. He has a career scoring average of 15.6.

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Blake Griffin gives kudos to second unit in loss to Sacramento

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Jordan Farmar

Jordan Farmar/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Coach Doc Rivers said his team’s reserves kind of let the team down in its 118-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday at Staples Center. Were it not for the second unit Sunday, the Clippers likely would have lost to the Sacramento Kings by much more than 98-92. Starting power forward Blake Griffin seems to realize that.

It was early in the second quarter that reserves Jordan Farmar (8), Spencer Hawes (6) and Hedo Turkoglu (3) scored all 17 points during a 17-2 Clippers run.

“I thought that we (the starters) played poorly and the second unit played good,” Griffin said. “The second unit did a good job in the second quarter by putting pressure on them (the Kings). We tried to get back in it in the third quarter, but we could not.”

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 98-92 loss to Sacramento

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Blake Griffin has little for which to be happy Sunday/Staff photo by David Crane

 

- Blake Griffin got frustrated at the officiating and it might have affected his game. Griffin did get hammered a few times when fouls were not called. Griffin scored 17 points, but he shot just 6 of 20. This came two nights after he scored 39 points on 13 of 23 from the field in a 118-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday night.

- DeAndre Jordan needs to quit chirping so much at the referees. It doesn’t seem like he’s doing himself or his team any good by getting a technical foul late in the game that cost the Clippers a point.

- The Clippers were outrebounded 46-35, so that issue continues. They were outrebounded by Oklahoma City 47-33 in the season-opener, by the Lakers 40-36. In three games, the Clippers have been outrebounded by a combined 133-104. That’s a negative differential of 29. That won’t cut the mustard.
- The Clippers went 0-for-12 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter. But Rivers afterward told reporters that he was fine with the shots his team took. Still, one has to wonder why the Clippers didn’t try to work the ball inside more once the basket started shrinking. Perhaps the Clippers figured that since they were 9 of 19 (47.4 percent) from 3-point range after three quarters, they’d have to start falling again. If so, they were wrong. The Clippers shot just 37.5 percent from the field overall.

- Nothing against Sacramento, it has some good players. Heck, DeMarcus Cousins was a beast in scoring 34 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. But the more-talented Clippers were at home, and took a 13-6 lead. Again, the Clippers look so good early, kind of like they did when they opened a 15-point lead over the Lakers in the first quarter of that game Friday. Then, poof, just like that the Kings go on a 15-0 run. Not long after, the Clippers embark on a 17-2 run. How does this happen? It just seems like the Clippers are checking in and out of the game mentally. Or, as Spencer Hawes intimated, maybe they are becoming “complacent” after starting quickly.

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Chris Paul and wife Jada pumped up about season bell-ringer

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Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Chris Paul told reporters at the morning shootaround ahead of tonight’s (Thursday) season-opener against the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder that he is fired up about the 2014-15 bell-ringer. Apparently, so is his wife Jada.

“I woke up and rolled over and my wife said, ‘Congratulations on the opening day,’ ” Paul said. “That was the first thing I heard. She sounded as excited as I was, so that got me excited. Now, they count.”

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DeAndre Jordan says players can’t worry about getting injured

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DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday morning was asked his thoughts about the unfortunate injury sustained by Lakers rookie Julius Randle in the Lakers’ opener on Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. Randle broke his right leg in the fourth quarter and figures to be out for the season.

Jordan said the one thing a player can’t do is become concerned that it could happen to him after seeing it happen to someone else.

“You can’t control things like that,” he said. “You’ve just gotta continue to play. You can’t think about getting injured or think about what could happen because that’s when things usually happen. You’ve just gotta play and if it happens, it happens.”

 

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Fergie to sing national anthem at Clippers opener at Staples Center

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Fergie/Photo courtesy of Associated Press

The Clippers on Wednesday announced that 8-time Grammy Award winner Fergie will sing the national anthem prior to the Clippers’ season-opener Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center.

Fergie is a solo singer as well as a vocalist for The Black Eyed Peas.

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A record 101 international players on opening-day NBA rosters

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Hedo Turkoglu

Hedo Turkoglu/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

There will be a record 101 international players on opening-day rosters, breaking this past season’s previous record of 97, the NBA announced Tuesday.

San Antonio will lead the way for the third consecutive season with nine international players. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets have six apiece, the Golden State Warrios five and eight teams have four.

The Clippers have just one – reserve forward Hedo Turkoglu of Turkey.

Canada leads countries with 12 players in the league, France has 10 while Australia and Brazil have eight and seven, respectively.

Moreover, the number of international players has more than doubled since the 2000-01 season, when there were 45. Ten years before that, in 1990-91, there were only 21 international players.

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