PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- A day after a blowout loss to the visiting Phoenix Suns, some Los Angeles Clippers players said the team was still adjusting to being the hunted rather than hunters this season.
Coach Doc Rivers believes any team that hasn't won a championship and thinks it's hunted is "delusional."
"There's only one hunted team -- Miami," Rivers said. "That's it. I mean, c'mon. If we think we're the hunted, they have no idea what the hunted is. I've been on a hunted team before and that's the year after you win a title. That team is hunted. All the other teams are delusional if they think they are."
Center DeAndre Jordan said the Clippers feel like a hunted team this season and are still trying to embrace that role.
"I feel like sometimes we embrace it," Jordan said. "And sometimes we feel like we're supposed to beat teams just because it says 'Clippers' on our jersey and because we have a new coach now. Teams are not going to lay down. They're going to want to beat us even more."
It was a sentiment echoed by guard Jamal Crawford the day after the Clippers lost to the Suns 107-88 in a game in which they trailed by 29 points in the second half and were booed by the home crowd for the first time this season.
"We know we're a good team, but just because we walk onto the court teams aren't going to fear us," Crawford said. "We have to take that respect. Now we're hunted and it's still an adjustment period. There are times we understand that and times we don't."
Rivers acknowledged that teams want to beat the Clippers because they're contenders but said his players won't truly know what it means to be hunted until they win a title.
"That doesn't mean teams aren't up for us; they want to beat us," Rivers said. "We are one of those teams that are supposed to be good and we have proven so far that we're pretty good, so of course you get excited to play [us].
"But there's a whole other energy that comes with playing a Miami Heat. I can guarantee that. We would love to see that."