“The way we’re playing shocks me,” Rivers said. “Our attitude shocks me. We’re just not ready to win any games right now the way we play, the way our approach is to basketball games. I told them that with about five minutes left. I said, ‘If we win great, you find your own way.’
“Right now, I just think we’ve become very, very selfish. Not as far as trying to get our own, but everything is about how we’re playing individually instead of how the team is playing. You can see it, a guy struggles, he pouts, he moans. Everything is ‘me, me, me’ on our team right now, feeling sorry for themselves instead of giving themselves to the team and playing.
“You can just see it manifest throughout the team. Until we can get through that we will continue to have results like we had tonight. Clearly we should have won the game. I thought the starting unit in particular came in casual in the fourth quarter, assuming they were going to win the game -- no urgency. Then, all of the sudden, when the game got [to a 1-point contest], their butts got tight. When you [don’t have] that 11-point lead, the shots aren’t easy anymore. I always say it, ‘You screw around with the game, and the game will screw around with you.’ Either I’m doing a terrible job getting to them or right now they just aren’t there. I don’t know why. It’s my job to figure it out though.”
Friday's loss to the 29-42 Bobcats came on the heels of a 90-87 loss to the Grizzlies on Wednesday at the Garden.
Rivers dismissed the idea that the recent struggles in any way resemble last season's sleepwalking through the final months of the regular season, when star players were shut down because of injuries.
“Nothing like this," Rivers said. "Last year I shut them down. They were injured. They’re not injured. They’re not playing well."
Asked if his players were bored, Rivers agreed before quietly adding, "And last year, we lost Game 7 on the road.”