Found February 09, 2012 on Waiting For Next Year:
96338993

Upon emerging from the trainer’s room, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul spent approximately 15 minutes having a heated yet professional exchange with two of his assistant coaches, Robert Pack and Dean Demopoulos. Verging on animated, Paul appeared to be discussing specific plays, potentially mixing in some team philosophies, both contributing to their seven-point loss to the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers.

Paul was forced to debate with assistant coaches, and later teammate Randy Foye, because their head coach Vinny Del Negro was long gone. The Clippers’ main man chastised his team for a complete lack of aggression, stating that they were out-manned by a team that happened to be on the second night of a back-to-back. Del Negro wouldn’t categorize the team’s effort as complacency — something that could have easily set in following the announcement of Kyrie Irving’s absence — but his team, on this night, was clearly the less physical.

“This is a game we should have came in here and won,” said Paul. “We obviosuly didn’t have the energy and that starts with me. It was as if we were the team that played last night – [the Cavs] came out and got us tonight.”

Adding to the complacency discussion is the fact that Paul was unaware of Irving’s absence until Ahmad Crump belted out the Cavaliers’ starting lineup. Instead, Paul was tasked with Ramon Sessions and Daniel Gibson, leading a unit with less top-to-bottom talent and athleticism to a win in front of more than 17,000 fans.

The attitude supplied by the Cavaliers may have merely caught the Clippers off guard. Admittedly, a west coast team tangled with a condensed schedule may not have had the fortune of seeing just how tough this current crop of Wine and Gold goes to battle every night. Gibson, in his first game back following a bout with infected neck tissue, would not only be placed into the starting lineup, but would provide several huge fourth-quarter plays when the game could have been had by either team. Take your pick: a strip on the defensive end, a go-ahead three-ball, or a handful of free throws which would ultimately put the game out of reach.

Anderson Varejao took multiple hard falls, the first of which looked as if it could end his evening. But once the fourth quarter arrived and Byron Scott appeared unwilling to let this one fall through his team’s fingers, the Big Brazilian was redeployed where he would make an impact throughout including a huge 15-foot jump shot from the right side of the floor as the shot clock expired. He would later say that he feels as if he’s from Cleveland given how much the fans within this town appreciate his endless supply of effort.

The Plain Dealer’s Tom Reed used a recent illness suffered by public address announcer Olivier Sedra as a referendum on the top-down nature of this team. Byron Scott’s post-game comments rang as if being spoken by a drill sergeant, stating that no one in the NBA is going to feel sorry for a franchise decimated by injury.

“You can respond one of two ways,” coach Scott said. “You can feel sorry for yourself and say one of our best players is out and go in the tank or you can respond like we did.”

If the league  had not been made aware, the hard work, grit and determination — all handed down by the team’s second-year head coach — are combining to put on one heck of a show. They may not get the fanfare and national recognition of the team that came out on the losing end of Wednesday night’s ledger, but they’re undoubtedly playing like the city in which they live.

 (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Chris Paul comes to praise his teammates and bury the 76ers

Paul is the hero of Friday's victory over the 76ers, but he's too nice of a guy to take credit for the Clippers' success.From Philadelphia — The last guy I'm going to write about is Chris Paul , because he's already had his story.

Chris Paul’s ESPN Magazine cover

 

Chris Paul passes along lessons on the importance of family

The Clippers point guard makes sure he thinks of those close to him before each game, and he digs deep to bring out the best in others.From Philadelphia — You hear about someone and how impressive he is as a person, solid and all that.

Paul's game-winner leads Clippers over 76ers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Chris Paul had 24 points, including the game-winning 17-footer with 3.2 seconds left, Blake Griffin added 16 points and 11 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 78-77 on Friday. Mo Williams added 14 points, Randy Foye had 10 and Reggie Evans added a season-high 10 rebounds for the Pacific Division-leading Clippers, who improved...

Chris Paul lifts Clippers past 76ers, 78-77

Paul scores on a fadeaway jumper with 3.2 seconds left to help secure the Clippers' seventh win in nine games.

Paul hits game-winner, Clippers edge hot 76ers

Chris Paul had 24 points, including the game-winning 17-footer with 3.2 seconds left, Blake Griffin added 16 points and 11 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 78-77 on Friday.

Chris Paul’s Advice for Dwight Howard: Keep Playing Hard

Not too long ago, Chris Paul was in Dwight Howard’s shoes, and CP3 told the media in Orlando last night that all he’s advised Howard to do through these awkward times is to remain dominant on the court. From the Sentinel: “Just keep playing hard and doing what he’s doing,’ Paul said after his new team, the Los Angeles Clippers, prepared to play Howard’s Magic on Monday...

Paul's late hoop lifts Clips over Sixers (AP)

Chris Paul had 24 points, including the game-winning 17-footer with 3.2 seconds left, Blake Griffin added 16 points and 11 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 78-77 on Friday. Mo Williams added 14 points, Randy Foye had 10 and Reggie Evans added a season-high 10 rebounds for the Pacific Division-leading Clippers, who improved to 16-8.

Paul pushes Clippers past 76ers in final seconds

Chris Paul had 24 points, including the game-winning 17-footer with 3.2 seconds left, Blake Griffin added 16 points and 11 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 78-77 on Friday.

Paul lifts Clippers over Sixers 78-77

Chris Paul had 24 points, including the game-winning 17-footer with 3.2 seconds left, Blake Griffin added 16 points and 11 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 78-77 on Friday.

Jeremy Lin Outplays Kobe Bryant; Chris Paul Hits A Game-Winner

Hopefully Kobe knows who Jeremy Lin is now. After spending time between the Lakers’ win in Boston and last night’s 92-85 loss in NYC doing his best to try to say he had no clue who the NBA’s newest sensation was, Bryant got one-upped by the man who has now scored more points in his [...]

No Utah Jazz players make 2012 NBA All-Star team

No Utah Jazz players make 2012 NBA All-Star team By Brian T. Smith The Salt Lake Tribune Published Feb 9, 2012 05:23PM MDT No Utah Jazz players were selected to the 2012 NBA All-Star team. Forward Paul Millsap and center Al Jefferson were the team’s best candidates. It’s the first time since 2009 the Jazz (13-11) haven’t had an All-Star selection. Former Utah guard Deron...

Mastermind

var imgData = new Array();imgData[1]= new Array('http://www.slamonline.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/CP3-and-Byron-Scott-in-NO.jpg','','','http://www.slamonline.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/CP3-and-Byron-Scott-in-NO.jpg'); imgData[2]= new Array('http://www.slamonline.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Byron-Scott-and-Kyrie-Irving...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.