“Next game in Atlanta is big for us and the one after that (too) because we can’t keep digging ourselves such a hole,’’ said Vucevic, whose 27-point, six-rebound, four-assist and two-block effort wasn’t nearly enough in Saturday’s 118-108 loss to the Bucks. “This is it for us. Every game for us on the board is like a Game 7. We don’t have any margin for error any more. This is it for us and this is our season. So, we either show that we’re built to do this or not. So, we’ll see how we all react.’’
“We’re (eight) games under .500 and it’s still not over,’’ Vucevic said of the team’s playoff chase. “We’re three or four games out and things can turn around quickly, but it has to be done. If we keep losing and keep sliding and there’s too much of a gap, the teams in front of us aren’t going to lose that many games. It’ll be hard for us to go on, like, a 10 or 11-game winning streak. We have to do it right now. Every game, we have to bring it and play at our best for 48 minutes and try to win as many games as we can until the (All-Star) break.’’
Clifford is in Orlando now, and he understands better than ever the importance of taking care of himself and monitoring his own health in a business where keeping your job depends largely on winning. He took significant steps to improve his sleep patterns and overall health, this after a previous heart scare as well. The 57-year-old Clifford said the support from Kerr helped. “It was great,” Clifford said of Kerr’s phone call. “He was one of the guys who reached out and obviously we had the health issue in common. It was a terrific gesture.”