No one will confuse the high-flying Clippers or the perimeter-scoring Golden State Warriors for the so-called “Bad Boys,” the physical and rugged Detroit Pistons in the 1980’s that thrived on throwing their bodies around seemingly anytime an opponent had the ball.
But both Clippers coach Doc Rivers and Warriors coach Mark Jackson loved both that era as former NBA players and the recent ESPN 30-on-30 documentary that captured the Pistons’ era.
“This is not going to happen again,” Rivers said, mindful of the stricter hand-check rule adopted during the 2004-05 season. “Sometimes it’s too tight now with the way it’s called, especially some of the flagrants. It’s helped the guards in the league. It should be somewhere where they can get to that medium and should be just playing basketball.”
Instead, Rivers believes he hears too many whistles.
“There’s no flagrant fouls. You didn’t get fined either,” Rivers recalled of that era. “That was nice as long as you weren’t the guy getting [fouled]. But you don’t want it to be a level where it’s no longer basketball. My belief at the end of the day is the less fouls called, the more action. The more times a foul is called, the more the game stops.”
The Warriors and Clippers have become testy in recent seasons, a trend both Jackson and Rivers loved.
“It’s playoff basketball. I heard Doc make the point where we’re not supposed to like each other. He’s right. We’re battling and competing.”
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