Doc Rivers: Clippers 'were not ready' for Lakers

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

The new Clippers coach was not pleased with his team's effort after an embarrassing loss to the Lakers on opening night.

With a big-time head coach in tow and several shiny new acquisitions, the Los Angeles Clippers entered Tuesday night's season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers as a team many thought could win the Western Conference. Meanwhile, a Kobe Bryant-less Lakers team was pretty much an afterthought, and the popular opinion was that things could get ugly.

Well, things did get ugly, only it was the mighty Clippers on the wrong side of a beat down. The Lakers, led by a bench unit aptly described as an "island of misfit toys," blitzed the Clippers in the fourth quarter to turn a close game into a 116-103 rout.

New Clippers coach Doc Rivers was worried about his team taking the Lakers lightly, and his worst fears came true, according to Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

"We were not ready tonight," Rivers said. "I told our guys before the game. Those are pros on the other side and they've been told for months how good you're going to be, how they're not going to be good and they're not going to have Kobe and all that stuff. You know they were going to play like this is the world championship, with that type of energy, and we never matched it."

During the game-deciding fourth-quarter run and throughout much of the contest, the Lakers just seemed to bring more effort to the table, which was evidenced by their 18 offensive rebounds. Jordan Hill had five of those offensive boards alone in the fourth quarter, which led to numerous second-chance three-pointers.

On the perimeter, Xavier Henry and Jordan Farmar sliced-and-diced a Clippers defense that was a step slow all night. Henry finished the game with a career-high 22 points, while Farmar had 16. These are two guys who made essentially zero impact combined in the league last year, and on opening night, they took it to the Clippers' starters during crunch time.

There will be much better days ahead for the Clippers. Nights like this happen in the NBA and there's simply too much talent on the roster not to have success. But Rivers knows the team must be better prepared going forward, because other teams will play the Clippers with the same edge the Lakers showed:

"It's a good lesson for us," Rivers said. "The good thing is we have 81 more games. The bad thing is everyone is going to play us that way. When you're anointed before doing it, people are going to attack you and we're going to have to get used it. 

"We're going to have to get used to that energy every night, because people are going to play you like you've won something."

The Clippers will get their first chance at redemption when they play the Golden State Warriors Thursday night in what could be a possible playoff preview. The Clippers' defense must certainly play better, otherwise, the high-powered Warriors will have their way with them.

More from SB Nation NBA:

The King's Revolution: How things changed since LeBron made The Decision

Paul Flannery explains why we watch the NBA

Welcome back, NBA! In-depth previews for all 30 teams

NBA Power Rankings: Miami debuts on top, but who's No. 2?

Revealing the secret world of NBA daps

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.