Josh Smith/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
A lot has been made of the Clippers’ second unit and how lethal it could be. What that unit will actually look like once the regular season begins is not 100 percent etched in stone because coach Doc Rivers has not named a starter for the small forward spot.
What Rivers has said is that it could be that both Paul Pierce and Wesley Johnson could switch off starting there depending on matchups. However, it’s rather certain that Josh Smith, Lance Stephenson, Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford will make up four-fifths of it.
Yes, that means Smith could see some time at center when he’s playing with that unit, though he is a power forward.
That said, the second team played dynamite ball during the four-day camp at UC Irvine. It beat the first team more than once during scrimmages, including Tuesday.
Rivers was told Thursday that a member of the Clippers’ radio broadcast team said on the air that his second unit is going to terrorize those of the rest of the league. Rivers smiled, then kept it real.
“Our second unit has played very well in camp, but I still think we have a big step to cross as a group,” he said. “They’re really good and they still have to figure out a way to be good together.”
Rivers said he noticed during camp that it always seemed to be one particular player on that unit who stole the show.
“As good as they’ve been, it’s been like they’ve had these dominant individual moments to dominate games,” he said. “And maybe that’s who we become with that group. I don’t know that yet.
“The one day Josh carried us, the second day it was Austin, the third day it was Lance. And we haven’t even talked about Paul (Pierce) and Jamal (Crawford) in that, yet. I want to get them to a point where they’re all doing that at the same time. We’ll see how long that takes.”