The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers met at the Staples Center for a preseason exhibition on Monday night. There was a lot of interest in this game given the recent Clippers moves to acquire Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler. For one night, at least, the Clippers lived up to the early hype surrounding them as they picked up the 114-95 win.
The Clippers were pragmatic following the game but still had a lot of positive things to say. Prime Ticket spoke with Chris Paul at courtside following the win and they asked him how he felt about picking up the victory.
"It wasn't bad. We still have a lot of work to do.We've still got to get better on the defensive end, we've got to clean up a lot of things on the offensive end. But overall, I think our effort was great. That's one thing we promised our fans: every time we go out, we're going to compete. [Our players'] effort was amazing and it was a lot of fun."
When asked what Paul can do, in a leadership role, to help his new teammates win:
"Just sticking together. I've never won a championship, but I would love to. One thing that I've noticed from afar is that [those championship teams] always compete and they always play together."
Fox Sports West caught up with Chauncey Billups and he offered the following insight on how he pairs up with CP3:
"It is a very deadly combination, we really just play off one another. Sometimes he runs the point and makes plays, sometimes I'll take over and do the same. I think we're going to cause a lot of players a lot of problems."
Prime also had a chance to meet up with homegrown superstar Blake Griffin in the locker room and ask him how he felt about the game:
"I thought it went pretty well. We haven't had very many practices together, so the more we play, the more practices we get, the better things will feel."
They asked him to compare last year's Clippers team to the current incarnation:
"It's a world of difference. Those three guys alone bring so much experience that it's completely different. Not only that but DeAndre [Jordan], myself and everybody else is a year older as well. We like where we're at now, but we've got a lot of work to do."
They also asked his opinion on having Paul, Billups and Butler around to look to for guidance:
"Being able to learn from those guys and seeing the game through their eyes and having them tell me the little things that they've learned throughout their careers is huge for me. My main focus right now is to soak it all up and learn from them."
As a parting shot, they asked Griffin to pick one specific thing that he feels the team needs to focus on after this performance.
"As a team, I thought that we did a poor job on the boards. Other than that, just getting the flow down, learning the plays."
It seems like the Clippers are overall pleased with their performance after a very limited time together and are enjoying the victory, but they all agree that they have a very long way to go. It's certainly a good sign that everyone seems to be on the same page with that approach.