PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- After opening the season with back-to-back wins over the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers proceeded to sleepwalk through back-to-back losses to the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On Monday night, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said his team was "in no position" to take teams lightly and they "haven't done anything yet."
Of course, that's sometimes easier said than done.
"I think we play to the level of our competition sometimes," Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe said Tuesday after practice. "Like we don't get up for the games we're supposed to win, but the games we play against playoff teams we bring it. It's not supposed to be like that."
Bledsoe said he could sense a difference in his teammates in the locker room and on the court from the Clippers' first two games against rivals and playoff teams and their last two games against teams that didn't make the playoffs last season and aren't projected to make the playoffs this season.
"We have to hold each other accountable for our actions," Bledsoe said. "[Chris Paul] and Chauncey [Billups] talked to us earlier today at film about it. This is the NBA. Everybody is here for a reason. Everybody can play. You just can't come to the games and not be focused and [play] with the energy like we're not going to struggle with this team. That's what I think we did coming into those last two games. We came in complacent instead of just going out there and winning."
The Clippers should not have a complacency problem against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night after the Spurs swept the Clippers out of the playoffs last season.
"I expect to see everybody focused and ready to play the game," Bledsoe said. "We'll be ready especially after what happened in the playoffs."