Saturday , Mar , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Vinny Del Negro: I haven’t lost the Clippers

Expecting to go deep in the playoffs, the Clippers have lost eight of the past 12 games. An ESPN report before the game, citing an unnamed source, stated that Coach Vinny Del Negro had lost the team, but he refuted the report.

“When you are losing games everyone jumps on you,’’ Del Negro said. “If you can’t take the heat, you shouldn’t do the job. You have to win games and that’s what you are measured on. Players are frustrated and I’m frustrated. You are going to get knocked down sometimes, but you have to keep getting up.’’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The players say they support Vinny Del Negro. And Vinny Del Negro says the players support him.

Here’s the question: do you believe the Los Angeles Clippers?

It’s hard to take the Clipper players and coach seriously when they sit at fifth in the Western Conference with a 26-21 record.

Typically, five games over the Mendoza line and a potential playoff birth would make Clipper-nation weep with joy and have the NBA wondering if the league is in bizarro mode.

These aren’t those Clippers, the losers of years past. They have an inside-outside punch in Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, while the supporting cast has a primo talent in DeAndre Jordan and plenty of athletes.

Yet, the Clippers have underperformed and aren’t the best team to call Staples Center home. Another run of poor games – they’ve won four of ten – and the Clippers would likely miss the playoffs because the Western Conference is so competitive.

So Del Negro is feeling the heat. Expectations, after all, were sky high when the Clippers acquired Paul in December.

Now coach and player must perform. Talk is cheap in the NBA.

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