Chris Paul, Doc Rivers look forward to the ‘amazing’ fans in China

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Chris Paul is a veteran of visiting, and playing ball, in China. He helped Team USA win the gold medal there in the 2008 Beijing Games. Paul and coach Doc Rivers, who also has been to China, this week talked about how terrific the fans are there when it comes to basketball.

“The fans in China are amazing,” said Paul, whose Clippers are there now and will play the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday in Shenzhen and Wednesday in Shanghai. “The amount of support that they show us year in and year out, it’s always a good time to go over there.”

Rivers echoed that sentiment.

“Yeah, I’ve been over there,” he said. “The fan reaction will be amazing. Yao Ming will be walking around with us a couple of nights. So that’ll be huge – literally. They’re great fans and that’s the one good thing, the arenas are so loud, so that’ll be a lot of fun.”

Doc Rivers: Chris Paul’s goal should not be to play all 82 games

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Chris Paul this past season played all 82 regular-season games for the first time in his 10-year career. It’s a cool achievement, particularly for a point guard.

Coach Doc Rivers played the position for his entire 13-year career. It’s taxing, he said.

“You gotta come back to get the ball, you gotta push the ball up the floor, you gotta start the offense, you gotta make sure everybody’s in the right place and then when the other guy has the ball, you’re up full court  because he has the ball,” Rivers said. “So the point guard spot is no joke. It’s a hard position for everyone.”

Rivers was asked this week if Paul’s goal this season should again be to play every game in the regular season?

“That should not be a goal of his,” Rivers said. “His goal should be to play … how many games in the playoffs to win it? If it’s 16 wins, I’m all for that.”

Paul, 30, conceded his position is hard.

“Oh, no question, definitely tough,” he said. “After the regular season, I told a big thanks to our training staff and all the people who helped through that.”

Paul didn’t bat an eye when asked if he has a similar goal for this season.

“We’re going to see how it goes,” he said. “If I’m healthy enough, Doc knows I want to play every night.”

Paul, entering his fifth season with the Clippers, played 80 games in 2007-08 and 2010-11.

Interestingly, Rivers played all 82 games just once in his career as well – in 1986-87 with Atlanta; he played 81 his rookie season in ’83-’84.

Chris Paul says Clippers are a team with ‘a lot of work to do’

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Clippers point guard Chris Paul is surrounded by an abundance of talent that, once in sync, could be something special to see.

But Paul on Tuesday pulled no punches when asked what he saw from his team in its 93-73 loss to Toronto in Canada on Sunday.

“Man, a team that has a lot of work to do,” he said. “I even saw that Friday after our first home game here. We’ve gotta continue to get better both offensively and defensively.”

The Clippers defeated Denver 103-96 on Friday at Staples Center in their exhibition opener. They led by 21 points with 1:26 to play in the third quarter before the Nuggets cut that all the way down to 99-96 with 59.9 seconds to play.

On Sunday, the Clippers shot 38 percent (27 of 71) with the bench shooting 10 of 35.

But, hey, it’s two games into the exhibition season. This team figures to have its growing pains, what with so many new faces – particularly on the bench.

The Clippers leave Wednesday morning for China, where they will play the Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 10 and Oct. 14.

Clippers don’t look good in 93-73 loss to Toronto in Canada

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


It’s only the exhibition season, so there is nothing to worry about at this time, but the Clippers on Sunday played the Toronto Raptors in Canada and came out on the short end of a 93-73 score.

The Clippers (1-1) shot just 38 percent (27 of 71) from the field with Blake Griffin (5 of 13) and Chris Paul (2 of 8) combining to shoot 7 of 21. The talented bench made just 10 of 35 shots with Josh Smith going 2-for-8 and Lance Stephenson going 0-for-4; Jamal Crawford shot 2 of 7.

J.J. Redick scored a team-high 15 points, Griffin had 14 and DeAndre Jordan had eight points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.

Toronto out-rebounded the Clippers 48-33.

The Raptors (1-0) were  led by 26 points from Kyle Lowry. Toronto shot 36 free throws, making 29 for 80.6 percent.

DeAndre Jordan has big first half as Clippers lead Nuggets 56-42

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


DeAndre Jordan scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots as the Clippers took a 56-42 over the Denver Nuggets into the locker room at halftime Friday at Staples Center.

It is the exhibition opener for both teams.

Chris Paul scored nine points and doled out five assists for the Clippers and Josh Smith and Blake Griffin scored six points apiece.

Wilson Chandler led Denver with 11 points.

Doc Rivers: A good team is the best place for a role player to excel

Wesley Johnson

Wesley Johnson/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers


Wesley Johnson this week was asked about being an inconsistent player, and he said that figures to change this season now that he’s on a deep team with the likes of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul anchoring it. Keep in mind the previous two seasons Johnson was with the Lakers, one of the league’s worst teams of late.

Speaking Tuesday in general terms and not specifically about Johnson, coach Doc Rivers believes playing on a good team can make the difference for a role player.

“When you’re on a good team and a role player, you’re a better player,” he said from training camp at UC Irvine. “You play better, kind of get your role better. When you’re on a bad team, usually no one actually knows their role and everyone is fighting each other to be the man because the team’s bad, you don’t believe the guy that’s good is that good.

“So I think it’s a lot easier when you come to a team and it’s clear who the guys are.”