Doc Rivers recalls former teammate Jack Haley, who died Monday at 51

Jack Haley/Photo by Stephen Shugerman, Getty Images

 

Jack Haley, a former UCLA center who went on to play in nine seasons in the NBA, died Monday at age 51 of heart disease. Haley was a member of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1994-95 season, as were Clippers coach Doc Rivers and the eccentric Dennis Rodman.

Rivers on Tuesday night fondly recalled the relationship between Haley and Rodman.

“He was crazy,” Rivers said of Haley. “Him and Dennis Rodman were very, very tight and to say they kept things loose in our locker room and off the floor, would be an understatement. He also was a very good instigator in games.

“That was something that Red Auerbach always, until his dying days, told me, ‘Add instigators if you can. Even if they don’t play a lot, they can help you in some way,’ and Jack did that very well.”

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Blake Griffin will return to action Sunday against Rockets at Staples Center

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Blake Griffin will return to the Clippers on Sunday afternoon when they host the Houston Rockets at 12:30 p.m. at Staples Center.

Griffin has missed 15 games because of a staph infection in his right elbow. The Clippers (42-24) went 9-6 in is absence.

Coach Doc Rivers made the decision after Griffin participated in pregame drills, but his decision was based on what the training staff had told him.

“The trainers, yesterday they called and say he can go, he’s been cleared,” Rivers said.

Griffin was expected to start. He is the team’s leading scorer at 22.5 points per game.

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VIDEO: This is why Dahntay Jones was fined $10,000? Seriously? Wow!

Dahntay Jones on Monday was fined $10,000 by the NBA for bumping Golden State’s Draymond Green while he was being interviewed Sunday after the Warriors had defeated the Clippers 106-98 at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Obviously, it wasn’t much of a bump and to make matters worse, Green lobbied the NBA to punish Jones, which was absolutely bush-league. Green is a hard-nosed player, a good player. But he needs to grow up a little bit.

“I definitely expect that to be reviewed by the NBA,” Green told reporters at the time.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers gave his take Monday night ahead of the Clippers’ 89-76 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Honestly, I just saw it an hour and a half ago,” said Rivers, who began to laugh sarcastically. “And, wow, that was such a violent bump. I’m telling you, I mean, it was amazing. Like, I told Dahntay, ‘You’ve gotta be careful, that was too hard.’

“And I guess that tough guy at Golden State, I mean, I think the bump was too hard for him, clearly, the way he reacted. My goodness. I thought that guy was tough.”

Jones had this to say about Green wanting the NBA to look at this so-called incident, which, frankly was not much of an incident.

“I was surprised,” Jones said. “That was a little bit immature. If the situation was different, if I was taking the situation, I would just like shrug it off, and it is what it is, not make anything of it. But he wanted to make something of it, so it is what it is.”

Jones said he did not do this on purpose. We don’t believe that for a second. Still, what Green should have done is kept his mouth shut, man up and take care of it when the teams play on March 31 at Staples Center. Even if the seldom-used Jones doesn’t play in that game, Green could have talked some trash to let Jones know he didn’t appreciate it. But to ask the NBA to review something so petty, thus resulting in a heavy fine, was just ridiculous.

Check out the video of this baby bump by Jones:

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Longtime Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler to be honored Monday night

Ralph Lawler/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers and Fox Prime Ticket tonight (Monday) will honor long-time announcer Ralph Lawler on “Ralph Lawler Night” at Staples Center when the Clippers play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Lawler is in his 36th season broadcasting games for the Clippers. The three-time L.A. Emmy Award winner had called 2,838 Clippers games before Monday. He is known for phrases such as “Bingo” and “Oh me, oh my.”

It is a privilege to honor and celebrate the voice of the Clippers,” said Doc Rivers, head coach and president of basketball operations. “Ralph is a true professional and an inspiration to all Clippers fans. His love for the game and this team are on display every night, and I believe he has earned a future place in the Basketball Hall of Fame. I look forward to him broadcasting Clippers games for many years to come.”

 

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Familiarity brings comfort to Nate Robinson, newest member of Clippers

Former Husky Nate Robinson signs with Clippers

Nate Robinson played 33 games with the Denver Nuggets this season/Photo by David Zalubowski, Associated Press

 

The Clippers were not the only team courting free-agent point guard Nate Robinson. The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the others, Robinson said.

But Robinson on Saturday signed a 10-day contract with the Clippers and had already joined the team at its practice facility in the morning. He will be reunited with Clippers coach Doc Rivers as well as with fellow Seattle native and Rainer Beach High alum Jamal Crawford.

Rivers coached Robinson for two seasons in Boston. Robinson also played four seasons with Crawford on the New York Knicks. Partly for this, he’s stoked to join the Clippers.

“I’ve played with Jamal since high school – I was a freshman, he was a senior,” Robinson said. “Played on the Knicks together, so this is going to be our third go-round and pretty cool just to have. You know, ‘Mal’s like my big brother. He’s a real Seattle guy. Our high school team is playing for its fourth state championship in a row tonight, so hopefully they can win it.

“But just beihg here and being under Doc’s system again, it’s definitely going to be comfortable for me. I know all the plays, so it won’t be hard for me to be able to come in and just help the team and run the team how he wants me to do.”
 

 

 

 

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It’s highly doubtful Blake Griffin will return Sunday at Golden State

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin will likely not return Sunday at Golden State/Photo by Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Although there seemed a possibility Blake Griffin could be back Sunday for the game at Golden State, Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Saturday indicated that is doubtful.

Rivers said before practice that Griffin did not practice Friday and he did not expect him to practice Saturday. Asked if Griffin might return Sunday, Rivers said, “No, I don’t think so.”

Griffin has missed the past 11 games with a staph infection in his right elbow, which was surgically removed Feb. 9. The Clippers (40-22) are 7-4 without Griffin with five of the victories coming against playoff-bound teams.

 

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Doc Rivers would have preferred his team quickly play again after Wednesday’s crushing loss to Portland

Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, right, tries to block a shot by Portland’s Chris Kaman in Wednesday’s game at Staples Center won 98-93 by the Trail Blazers in overtime/Photo courtesy of Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

 

The Clippers on Wednesday night suffered one of their toughest losses of the season – 98-93 to visiting Portland in overtime. There was that crazy play at the end of regulation that saw DeAndre Jordan rebound a missed Chris Paul shot with 0.7 seconds left and instead of trying to tip it in for the game-winner, Jordan just held the ball over his head because he heard the shot-clock buzzer go off.

It was much more than that. The Clippers held a 10-point lead with 2:53 to play in regulation before falling apart and allowing the Trail Blazers to take them to overtime.

It would have been nice if the Clippers (40-22) had been able to get right back out there and play another game so as to more quickly erase that pain. As it stands, they will not play again until Sunday at Golden State (47-12).

“We didn’t have that luxury this time, so you know, this is one you have to sit with for a while,” coach Doc Rivers said Friday at practice in Playa Vista. “Listen, at the end of the day you lose some tough ones during the year and you win probably a couple of them. … It would have been a really nice win for us, more than losing it, when you factor in you have 40, 45 points out of your offense and yet you could have won that game and you should have won it. But you didn’t, so you shouldn’t have.”

That said, Rivers believes a loss of that magnitude could help his team moving forward.

“If we’re in the Finals, if things work out and we get through this West, I guarantee you that game will have something to do with it in a positive way,” Rivers said.

The Clippers were without Blake Griffin (elbow), Matt Barnes (hamstring) and Jamal Crawford (calf) on Wednesday. They average a combined 48.5 points.

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Jordan Hamilton gets a second 10-day contract from Doc Rivers, Clippers

Jordan Hamilton

Jordan Hamilton/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The Clippers on Friday signed 6-foot-7 wing Jordan Hamilton to a second 10-day contract, said Doc Rivers, head coach and president of basketball operations.

Hamilton, who prepped at Compton Dominguez High, has played in four games for the Clippers and started two of them. He is averaging 3.3 points while averaging 11.5 minutes.

Hamilton’s best game came Monday in a 110-105 victory at Minnesota. Starting for the injured Matt Barnes (hamstring), Jordan scored 10 points on 4 of 10 shooting in just under 26 minutes of play.

Hamilton, 24, previously played three seasons with Denver and Houston before playing this season for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League.

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Doc Rivers still doesn’t know if Blake Griffin will return Sunday at Golden State

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Coach Doc Rivers on Wednesday said there is a possibility Blake Griffin could be back for Sunday’s game at Golden State, which walloped the Clippers by 17 points (121-104) – it was worse than that – on Nov. 5 at Oracle Arena. Griffin was seen shooting left-handed Friday before practice began at the team’s facility in Playa Vista. He had a splint on his surgically repaired right elbow.

“I don’t know yet, we’ll see,” Rivers said Friday of the availability of Griffin on Sunday; he has missed the past 11 games. “We have two days of practice, so we’ll know more.”

Rivers was queried as to whether Griffin would practice Friday.

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “I really don’t. I don’t think so, would be my guess. But if he does, that’s obviously a good sign.”

Rivers scoffed at the notion that Griffin might come back a bit early because of Golden State, which leads the Western Conference with a 47-12 record.

“No, no,” Rivers said. “Blake’s going to come back when he’s healthy. We’re not going to throw a guy out there because it’s Golden State.”

The Clippers (40-22) are 7-4 without Griffin.

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Doc Rivers applauds another fine game by DeAndre Jordan in win over Bulls

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Every time you turn around, DeAndre Jordan is having another fine game. The 6-foot-11 post who again was not selected to the Western Conference All-Star team, on Sunday scored only nine points but he pulled down a whopping 26 rebounds, blocked two shots and made two steals in the Clippers’ 96-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls at United Center in Chicago.

Not only that, Jordan played solid defense on Chicago’s Pau Gasol, who was reportedly sick and made just 2 of 13 from the field for four points; he averages 18.4 points. Gasol did have 15 rebounds and four assists, so he apparently wasn’t too sick to rebound and pass well.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers applauded yet another in a long line of games Jordan has dominated with his rebounding and defense. Jordan averaged 17.2 rebounds in the month of February and had five games with at least 20 rebounds with a high of 27 on on Feb. 9 in a win at Dallas.

“Our defense was good all day,” Rivers said. “DJ was great.  When you have a big who can guard another big one on one and you don’t have to double team, it takes other things they can do away because there is no double team.  DJ was huge on Gasol all day.”

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau gave credit to Jordan, but not without telling everyone how under the weather Gasol was during the game.

“I want to give Pau a lot of credit,” Thibodeau said. “Pau is sick, very sick. He knows we are shorthanded and he got out there and gave us everything he had. DeAndre Jordan has had an unbelievable year and an incredible run, particularly with Blake Griffin being out for them. He is playing at an unbelievable high level. When you look at their team and scoring margin, it tells you how good they are.”

Blake Griffin (elbow) missed his ninth consecutive game, but the Clippers (39-21) have won six of them. Five of them have come against playoff-bound teams.

This game was tied 69-69 after three quarters.

Chicago is now 37-23 and in third place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Clippers began the day in sixth in the Western Conference, but leapfrogged Dallas into fifth place, a half-game ahead of the now-sixth Mavericks and a game behind fourth-place Portland (39-19).

Chris Paul led the Clippers in scoring with 28 points; he also had 12 assists. Jamal Crawford scored 16 and Spencer Hawes had 14 points and nine rebounds. J.J. Redick had 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Bulls were without point guard Derrick Rose (knee) and power forward Taj Gibson (ankle).

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