Doc Rivers loves hard-working players like J.J. Redick and Blake Griffin

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers appear to be a team of hard-working players, the type who work and work on their game to make it better. But one would be hard-pressed to find two players who work harder than forward Blake Griffin and guard J.J. Redick, attests coach Doc Rivers.

“I have a gym full of talented players, but the special ones stand out,” said Rivers, whose team took on the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.. “And it’s usually not their athleticism. Everybody’s an athlete in the NBA. It’s all the other intangibles that makes them great. Mental toughness, their basketball IQ, their work habits, which I think gets overlooked by all of them.

“It’s no coincidence that when you walk in the gym, you look over there every day and there’s Blake. What I’m always amazed at, personally, is why the whole team doesn’t do that, you know? I think J.J. takes more shots than anybody on our team per day and so if your best shooter is doing that, it would just make sense that the guys who are under him would say, ‘Well, I think I need to take more shots than them to be a better shooter, or as good.’ ”

Redick is having his best season, averaging 16.4 points per game while shooting 47.7 percent from the field overall, 43.7 from 3-point range. All of those numbers are personal-bests.

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