Blake Griffin upset, embarrassed
PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was still upset with the way he and the rest of the Clippers' starters played a day after the Clippers lost to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.
"The effort by the starters was pretty bad," Griffin said after practice Tuesday. "It was embarrassing for us."
Griffin didn't address reporters after the 109-106 loss, bypassing the postgame news conference for the second consecutive home game. He apologized Tuesday for his absence.
"It was a miscommunication," Griffin said. "I honestly thought everybody was gone. I took some heat already, so I apologize."
The Clippers were trailing by 24 points in the third quarter Monday when Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro benched his starters and went with the team's second unit. The move brought the team back within striking distance when Del Negro brought back some of the Clippers' starters.
Griffin played only two minutes in the fourth quarter while DeAndre Jordan didn't get in the game at all after the third quarter.
On Tuesday, Griffin was asked whether sitting on the bench during the Clippers' comeback might serve as a wake-up call for him, Jordan and the other starters.
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"You'd love to sit here and say it's a wake-up call and things will be different," Griffin said. "That's the idea and that's what we talked about and that's what we want to do moving forward but we have to prove that. I'm tired of saying that we got to do this and we got to do that, and then say we will and go back and forth. I kind of want our actions to speak for ourselves."
Del Negro said Griffin and Jordan have improved from last season but that he would like to see his big men play with more consistency and a higher level of intensity down the stretch of the season heading into the playoffs.
"They've improved in some areas, and now it's about consistency," Del Negro said. "It's about playing well consistently in the biggest moments and executing. They're young players but they have enough experience to understand that. Now is a different part of the season and obviously the playoffs are another season all to themselves, so the level of intensity has to go up.
"They're more than capable of doing it. It's always the consistency factor for everyone. ... Some nights it's going to be your night but there always has to be effort. There always has to be an edge to your players, and we haven't consistently, for whatever reason, had the edge we've needed to finish off some games."