In retrospect, maybe playing the world champion Miami Heat wasn't the best idea when you're incorporating four players back into the lineup after varying degrees of absence.

The Clippers won't use the fact they were playing their first game all season together as a complete unit for Friday's blowout loss to the Heat, but it certainly played a role in how things turned out.

With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billups sharing the court together with the rest of the Clippers for the first time all year, a lack of cohesion was apparent as they struggled to get on the same page offensively and defensively.

"We just didn't adjust defensively," Lamar Odom said.

Odom has a point. But considering the Clippers beat the Heat earlier this year with most of their roster intact it stands to reason they probably stack up much better against Miami than Friday's score indicated.

Which makes today's game against the New York Knicks so important.

Now armed with two full practices and a complete game together, the Clippers should take a significant step along the process of building the type of chemistry and cohesion needed to return to being one of the elite teams in the NBA.

"We still have to get back to playing with each other," Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said. "We'll knock off some of the rust and we'll start to jell like we did at the beginning of the season."