DeAndre Jordan is fouled by the Suns’ Markieff Morris on Saturday night/Staff photo by Hans Gutknecht
Coach Doc Rivers late Saturday night gave DeAndre Jordan the ultimate compliment when he referred to him as the “star of the game.” Jordan had 12 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks in a 120-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. He helped the Clippers hold the Suns to a 38.4 shooting percentage for the game.
“He was everywhere,” Rivers said. “His energy tonight was amazing. He was a one-man wrecking crew. It felt like he had 30 blocked shots. Even the shots that he didn’t block, he changed.”
The Clippers (5-3) host the Chicago Bulls (7-3) on Monday at 7:30 p.m. (on Prime Ticket).
Doc Rivers, left, and owner Steve Ballmer/Staff photo by David Crane
Coach Doc Rivers on Thursday was queried as to whether he might re-think having his team play in Las Vegas again in the preseason on the heels of Blake Griffin being charged with misdemeanor battery on a man at Tao Nightclub inside the Venetian in Las Vegas. The alleged incident took play on Oct. 19, hours after the Clippers played Denver in an exhibition game at Mandalay Bay on Oct. 18.
Rivers politely scoffed.
“There are situations in life, I’m sure you guys have some,” he told reporters ahead of practice in Playa Vista. “We just don’t get to read about them; I wish we could. But, really, things happen. I don’t think anyone – I know on this team – intends for them to happen. But a lot of our guys are young and they learn and you look at it as a positive thing, where we all learn from it as a group. … But, no, I think the game we play there is a very good game for our organization and we have a great relationship with Mandalay Bay, so we’re not going to stop going there.”
Steve Kerr/Photo by Associated Press
One reporter asked Clippers coach Doc Rivers following his team’s 121-104 butt-kicking-loss at the hands of Golden State on Wednesday night in Oakland if first-year Warriors coach Steve Kerr has changed that team. Rivers doled out kudos to Kerr, but to others as well.
“I think that he’s changed them, but I think that after losing last year, they’re coming with anger,” Rivers said, alluding to the hotly contested first-round playoff series between the teams this past season won by the Clippers in seven games. “So you’ve got to give Steve some credit, but I don’t want to take credit away from Mark (Jackson) or anyone else. They came here to kick our butts. (Warriors forward) David Lee looked like he worked out for a month just to get back to this game.”
Until this season, Jackson had coached the Warriors the three previous campaigns.
Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
Blake Griffin scored just 14 points and pulled down one lousy rebound Wednesday night in the Clippers’ 121-104 loss at Golden State; the Clippers trailed by as many as 29 points in the third quarter. Doc Rivers addressed reporters after he spent a good half an hour in the locker room.
He was asked what he said to his players, and this was his response.
“I didn’t say much,” Rivers said. “I just let them blow smoke up each others’ asses. That’s all they did, in my opinion. But I let them just talk it out. But listen, I just think if you’re going to talk, you’ve gotta be real. I’m not a big fan of group meetings. Unless they’re real group meetings.”
Perhaps, Rivers is right, based on what Griffin told reporters a few minutes later in the locker room.
“We talked about some things and everybody said positive things,” Griffin said. “We knew Doc was going to be emotional and we were all emotional. We were passionate about what we were saying and some good is going to come from it.”
How mad was the normally good-natured Doc Rivers after his team was spanked 121-104 by the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland?
First, it took him half an hour to emerge from the clubhouse instead of about 10 minutes. Then, as he talked about a game in which his team trailed by as many as 29 points in the third quarter, he seemed to get more and more steamed as he went through the process of pointing out every which way his team was beaten. Then, he got to the absurd notion that his team committed one measly foul in the first half, after which they trailed 65-42.
“I’ve never been in a game where a team scores 65 points and we have one foul,” Rivers said. “That, to the core, bothers me to no end. I mean, I have never seen that before. And I think the foul was late and it was a mistake; it probably wasn’t a foul. So for me, I’m doing something wrong because that’s as soft as you can probably get in a game. One foul at halftime? Are you (expletive) kidding me? I mean, that’s as bad as I’ve seen.”
Rivers rarely curses, so that in itself was an indicator of how upset he was with his players.
Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
The triple-double point guard Chris Paul achieved in the Clippers’ 107-101 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday night at Staples Center was Paul’s first as a member of the Clippers, and 12th of his fine career. Paul is in his 10th season, fourth with the Clippers.
Moreover, Paul’s 12 triple-doubles are the fourth most in the NBA since Paul’s rookie season in 2005-06.
Coach Doc Rivers is impressed.
“He has the greatest hands that I’ve ever seen around the ball,” Rivers said. “It’s just amazing what he can do.”
Paul had 13 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds against Utah. He also had two steals and a block for good measure, and had just two turnovers in 36 minutes.
Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Jamal Crawford is not a professional hit-man, but his cold-blooded 3-point baskets often kill the other team. Thus, this anecdote from coach Doc Rivers following his team’s 118-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center:
“He’s just a professional scorer, he really is,” Rivers said of Crawford. “I don’t think there’s a coach in the world teaching those shots, at least this coach will never tell him not to take them.”
Crawford scored 22 points. He hit a 32-foot 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds left in the third quarter to stop the Lakers’ momentum and cut a seven-point Clippers deficit to just four entering the fourth. Then, with 1:38 left in the game and the score tied 109-109, he made a 28-foot 3-pointer and the Lakers never recovered.
Steve Nash/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Lakers
Like so many, Clippers coach Doc Rivers had some interesting thoughts upon hearing that Lakers point guard Steve Nash is out for the season, at 40 years of age likely ending Nash’s brilliant career.
“I mean, he’s one of the best,” Rivers said Friday night before his team lost to Portland at Staples Center. “He reminds me a lot of Isaiah (Thomas) and (John) Stockton, you know, the smaller point guards that had big hearts and did a lot of stuff. Back-to-back MVP (in 2004-05 and 2005-06) at his size is just amazing.
“So … and I think he did a lot of things for the game. I think the great ones, to me, they make the game different. And I think Nash did that, with his movement, being an aggressive scorer but also a facillitator, finishing under the rim. He just made the game different and then when you watch people come behind him and they start trying to do that, or play like him. That means he was special. He was a special player for us all to watch.”
Rivers then played the combination funny/sarcastic card.
“It’s really sad. I guess, you know, he’s 40 years old. What the hell does he expect?” Rivers said, kiddingly, drawing laughter from reporters. “You know, I looked at it that way, too. But he’s had a great career, obviously, a first-ballot Hall of Fame career. So that’s how we should look at it.”
The Los Angeles Clippers Foundation will partner with Feed the Children to distribute boxes of food, personal care items, school uniforms and shoes to 1,600 families on Saturday at Salvation Army Siemon Family Youth & Community Center in South Central Los Angeles.
Clippers players and coach Doc Rivers will begin food distribution at 11 a.m. Members of the U.S. Army as well as Clippers season-ticket holders will participate as well.
Doc Rivers, left, and owner Steve Ballmer/Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News
Coach Doc Rivers’ team had just won only its second exhibition in seven tries – 108-105 Wednesday night over Phoenix – when he was asked if he believes this year’s version of the Clippers can be great.
“I know we have a chance to be really good,” he said. “We have to commit to that. We play these preseason games in stretches and spurts, but we haven’t sustained an entire game yet. I know that it is in us and I see it. Hopefully, we are ready for Game One.”
The regular season opens Oct. 30 against Oklahoma City at Staples Center.
First, the Clippers (2-5) will play their final exhibition game Friday night against Portland (3-3) at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center (on Prime Ticket).