Chris Paul, Blake Griffin frustrated
ATLANTA -- The Los Angeles Clippers have been talking about being a defensive team since the start of training camp, but after Wednesday night's 107-97 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are growing frustrated with the team's lack of defense.
"We got to find a defensive identity," Paul said. "That starts with us in the locker room. We know what we do. We just got to do it. We've got to stop talking about it and we have to figure out how to stop teams."
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The Clippers spent the majority of Tuesday's practice and Wednesday's shootaround working on defense, but it didn't show against the Hawks, who shot 51.2 percent from the field and 52.2 percent from 3-point range.
"I thought yesterday we had a great defensive practice and covered all the things we messed up on tonight," Griffin said. "We slipped but hopefully we're not slipping. ... It's very frustrating. It's frustrating just to lose a game but to lose in the manner we lost tonight. We've got to do something different."
The Clippers are giving up 102.1 points per game, sixth most in the league. They are also allowing teams to hit 34.2 percent from beyond the arc, which is also sixth-worst mark in the league.
"I am surprised," Paul said. "We know what to do. That's the tough part about it. It's not on the coaches. It's on us in this locker room. Part of it is effort and part of it is pride. We've got to step it up. It's a long road trip, man, and all we've been talking about is getting off to a good start, and this is not a good start.
"It is getting frustrating because we're more than capable of it, we show it in spurts, but it's going to take commitment from all of us and I think it starts with me, [DeAndre Jordan] and Blake."
Rivers said he also was frustrated but took some blame for the defensive lapses, as well, and said he will continue to make adjustments as the Clippers prepare to visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday in the second game of a seven-game road trip.
"We're not there," Rivers said. "I was disappointed in our 3-point defense because that's one area we had cleaned up. Maybe I have to make an adjustment. I don't think we played the game with a lot of force. ... They'll get it. It's early in the season."