Losing to the Lakers in the season opener Tuesday was a hard lesson for the Clippers, guard J.J. Redick said at practice Wednesday, but he believes the loss can be beneficial.
One of the keys, Redick said, is for the Clippers to be more focused on their defensive effort.
"Last night could be a good thing for us if we respond the right way," Redick said. "And the response has got to be to learn from our mistakes and own up to them and then get better."
The Clippers gave up 116 points to the Lakers. And their three-point defense was ripped, as the Lakers made 48.3% of their three-pointers and hit 75% (six for eight) of them in the decisive fourth quarter, when the Lakers scored 41 points.
The Clippers will see their three-point defense tested by the Golden State Warriors in L.A.'s home opener at Staples Center on Thursday night. The Warriors led the NBA in three-point accuracy last season, making 40.3% of their shots.
Redick talked about how the Clippers need to close out on three-point shooters, and said the guards must play better on-ball defense, slow down dribble penetration and force opponents into contested two-point shots.
"Obviously, we had a lot of breakdowns. We gave up a lot of points last night," Redick said.
Coach Doc Rivers wasn't pleased about his team's defense either.
Rivers said the players work on defensive drills during every practice session, such as pick-and-roll drills, rotating and recovering on defense.
"I thought we broke down a lot defensively," Rivers said. "All the things we've worked on that we do in the drill, then when the lights came on, we didn't do them and they took advantage of them."
The Lakers outrebounded the Clippers, 52-40, and had 18 offensive rebounds.
But Rivers doesn't think his team has a rebounding problem.
"We were just bad [Tuesday] night. I'm not going to overdo one thing," he said.
"In five games, if we're still struggling on rebounds, then we may have to do something. We may have to change our coverages on defense to get guys closer to the basket, or something. I just don't think that's going to be a problem."
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