Vinny Del Negro

Vinny Del Negro rips Clippers’ effort after loss to Rockets


Most who saw the Clippers lose a heart-breaker in San Antonio on Friday would have expected a lackluster effort in Houston on Saturday.

Vinny Del Negro did not expect it, and was anything but pleased with his team afterward.

L.A. not only lost to a Rockets team playing without James Harden, who sat out with a foot injury, but lost big. The Clippers were blown out 98-81, and the effort did not at all sit well with the team’s head coach.

From Dan Woike of the Orange County Register:

For 3 minutes, 25 seconds, Del Negro verbally destroyed his team for its performance, citing lack of effort, toughness, execution and concentration for the unexpected loss.

“They played harder than we did,” Del Negro said. “We were terrible. Our effort was terrible. Our attitude was terrible. Our urgency was terrible. I’m very disappointed. I didn’t see the fight in us tonight. We need guys to step up.

“We were soft. We were sloppy. Our urgency was poor. Our defense was poor. Our transition defense was poor. Our post defense was poor. Our pick-and-roll defense was poor. I could go on and on.”

Just the night before, the Clippers were engaged in a battle on the road against the team with the best record in the Western Conference, and it was an emotionally draining one at that, given that the game wasn’t decided until the final seconds.

With Harden sitting this one out, and given the intensity level the Clippers played at just 24 hours prior to this one, the drop off in effort is somewhat understandable.

Del Negro, however, can’t afford to agree, considering that his prospects of continued employment with the franchise beyond this season are directly related to how far the Clippers can advance into the postseason.

And obviously, they won’t go very far by putting forth unfocused efforts like this.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
1 Comment

Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.