Five things to take from Clippers’ 102-100 victory over Indiana Pacers

DeAndre Jordan had 23 rebounds and two blocks in Wednesday’s 102-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers/Photo by Associated Press

 

- The Clippers out-rebounded the Pacers 51-43. It’s interesting to note that DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin combined for 39 of those 51 rebounds. Jordan had 23 and Griffin 16. What’s really  key here is that Griffin went into the game averaging only 7.3 rebounds this season, well below his career average of 9.9. He needs to get more rebounds. The 16 is a good start. He had just two rebounds in 37 minutes of a loss last week at Washington. Two measly rebounds. That should never happen. His average is now up to 7.7 after Wednesday.

- Jordan is having another poor season at the free-throw line. Before Wednesday, he was shooting 44.2 percent. He held true to that by making 7 of 15 from the line in this one. But it should also be pointed out that Jordan made two very clutch free throws with 3:34 to play that gave the Clippers a 1-point lead (93-93) after they had fallen behind 89-83 with 7 1/2 minutes to play. Oh, by the way, Jordan’s average is now 44.5.

- Coach Doc Rivers said post-game that the team is missing not having the services of backup post Spencer Hawes, who sat out his third consecutive game with a bruised left knee sustained Dec. 12 at Washington. Hawes’ knee is apparently progressing, Rivers said, but there is no timetable for his return.

- It’s a bit worrisome that the Clippers at times have difficulty putting away inferior teams. We’ve talked about them having a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. At times they look great, at times they don’t. But the Pacers are playing hard for coach Frank Vogel and this is the NBA, where anything can happen on a given night. Vogel talked before the game about how his players are staying engaged and believing in one another. Afterward, Rivers complimented the Pacers on how hard they played.

- The Clippers did not have a good night at the free-throw line, and Jordan was largely responsible. They shot just 62.2 percent (28 of 45), and that is not something they are going to be able to get away with very often. However, it fairness, the Clippers are actually shooting better from the line this season than they did a season ago. In 2013-14 they were 26th in the league with a percentage of 73.1. This season they are shooting 76.0 percent, 14th in the NBA.

 

 

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Doc Rivers impressed with loyal Lakers fan base after attending Pelicans game

Clippers sign Doc Rivers to contract extension

Doc Rivers, left, is impressed with Lakers fan base/Staff photo by David Crane

 

Doc Rivers on Monday night paid the Lakers and their fans quite a compliment. Rivers on Sunday went to Staples Center as a fan to watch his son Austin toil for the New Orleans Pelicans against the Lakers. Austin Rivers is a reserve guard for New Orleans.

As Doc Rivers played host to reporters in his pre-game news conference Monday ahead of the Clippers’ game against the Phoenix Suns, he was asked how he was treated by Lakers fans.

“They were very nice last night, they were very good,” he said, smiling. Rivers then discussed what he though about the turnout of 18,997.

“I’ll say this, one of the things I was impressed with was how crowded it was,” Rivers said. “Really, when you have the record that they have, it says a lot about their fan base and their loyalty. And I thought that was impressive. I went through that in Boston and I was always amazed how crowded it was every night. Celtics fans showed up every night, whether we were winning or losing.

“And the Lakers fans are doing that, too, and there are not a lot of fan bases in our league – or in any league, for that matter – that would do that. And I think that’s something that we’d love to be able to achieve some day. I don’t want to do that part of losing to find out, but I thought that was really impressive.”

 

 

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Doc Rivers doesn’t like coaching against his son Austin, but he will be Saturday

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers, son of Clippers coach Doc Rivers/Photo courtesy of New Orleans Pelicans, NBA.com

 

Coach Doc Rivers isn’t crazy about going against his son. But he’ll be doing just that when the Clippers on Saturday night at 7:30 play host to the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center (on Prime Ticket). Austin Rivers – a 6-foot-4 shooting guard – is in his third season with New Orleans.

“Well, it is what it is,” Rivers said at Friday morning’s practice. “It’s not anything I think anyone enjoys doing. He wants to win, I want to win and, you know, it’s tough. It’s tough for a parent. I never thought it would be. I thought it would be a lot of fun.”

Rivers found out during his final season coaching the Boston Celtics – his son’s rookie year with New Orleans – that was not the case.

“In Boston, when we did it the first time, I realized it’s really not a lot of fun,” Rivers said.

So, Rivers was asked, who does the Rivers family root for when father and son collide?

“Oh, for my son,” Rivers said, managing a laugh. “Yeah, that’s no doubt. The whole family, in that regard.”

Even the coach himself?

“No,” he said, with a sly smile.

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Doc Rivers got big kick out of Monday’s rare dunk by Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis

Glen Davis

Glen “Big Baby” Davis threw down a rare dunk in Monday’s win over Minnesota/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Glen “Big Baby” Davis can dunk, but the 6-foot-9, 290-pound backup power forward rarely does. Carrying that much weight, he has little in the way of liftoff.

But Davis did dunk early in the fourth quarter of Monday’s 127-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center. The rare dunk gave his team a 36-point lead and the starters roared their approval from the bench.

Coach Doc Rivers was asked about that moment ahead of Wednesday’s 114-86 victory over the Orlando Magic at Staples Center. His reaction to the dunk?

“Shocked,” Rivers said.

The reaction from the starters on the bench?

“That was the best excitement I’ve seen from our bench, probably this year,” Rivers said, “so I love when stuff like that happens.”

 

 

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Doc Rivers says team is ‘great’ offensively when J.J. Redick is shooting well

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick scored 23 points in Monday’s victory over Minnesota/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Even with his 7-for-11 shooting performance in Wednesday night’s 127-101 victory over the Minnesota Timerwolves at Staples Center, J.J. Redick’s shooting percentage is down from a season ago. He shot 45.5 percent in 2013-14, 39.5 percent from 3-point range. He is currently shooting 42.1 percent, 37.6 from beyond the arc; he was 4 of 5 from long-distance Monday for 23 points.

Coach Doc Rivers afterward talked about how lethal his team can be when Redick is shooting well.

“J.J. Redick is a great shooter, he has not forgotten how to shoot,” Rivers said. “Eventually, the ball is going to go in. When he scores, like he did tonight with our starting unit, and Jamal (Crawford) comes in scoring, we become a great offensive team.”

Crawford actually had a rare off night Monday, scoring just four points on 1 of 5 shooting.

Getting back to Redick, we should note that his career shooting percentage is only 43.1. here in his ninth season. But he has taken almost half of his shot attempts – 1,810 of 3,628 – from 3-point range; he’s shooting a very respectable 39 percent from there during his career.

 

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Doc Rivers just loved the 3-point shooting by his team in victory at Charlotte

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford made 5 of 8 from 3-point range Monday in Charlotte. As a team, the Clippers were 15 of 32 from there/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Sometimes coaches say the most obvious things. Such was the case Monday evening after the Clippers defeated the host Charlotte Hornets 113-92.

The Clippers shot 51.1 percent overall. More importantly, they made 15 of 32 from 3-point range. That is 46.9 percent from beyond the arc, which is fantastic.

Afterward, coach Doc Rivers was asked about his team’s long-distance sharpshooting.

“It was huge,” he said. “It’s like I said, they had couple of 3s that they missed; it’s a make/miss league. When your shooters make shots, you’re a better basketball team.”

Jamal Crawford was 5 of 8 from 3-point range, J.J. Redick was 4 of 9.

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Dynamic duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin was quite impressive Monday

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Blake Griffin goes up for a shot in Monday’s victory at Charlotte/Photo by Associated Press

 

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were quite the dynamic duo in Monday’s 113-92 victory over the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. Griffin scored 22 points with a season-high 16 rebounds and nine assists. Paul had 22 points, a season-high 15 assists and five rebounds. Paul shot 10 of 16 from the field and passed Lakers great Jerry West on the all-time assists list. Paul is now 25th with 6,241.

“We had good shooting and made open shots,” coach Doc Rivers said. “Blake and Chris set the tone for us on both ends of the court.”

The Clippers – now 3-1 on this seven-game road trip – shot 51.1 percent from the field, 46.9 (15 of 32) from 3-point range.

Next up, Wednesday at Detroit at 4:30 p.m. (on Prime Ticket).

 

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Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins is Western Conference Player of Week

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DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento has been named Western Conference Player of the Week/Photo courtesy of Sacramento Kings, NBA.com

 

Clippers coach Doc Rivers has said it over and over again – the Western Conference is filled with an incredible amount of talent.

The Sacramento Kings are a good example. They have not made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season, yet they are now a force with which to be reckoned. And their best player, DeMarcus Cousins, on Monday was named Western Conference Player of the Week.

Cousins, a 6-foot-11, 270-pound post, averaged 25.7 points and 16.3 rebounds in leading the Kings to a 2-1 record in games played between Nov. 17 and Nov. 23. Cousins shot 57.7 percent from the field in the three games and also had five blocks. On Saturday, he had his sixth consecutive double-double with 31 points and 18 rebounds in a 113-101 victory over Minnesota.

Sacramento, which went just 28-54 each of the past two seasons, is currently 8-5 and sits in eighth place in the conference standings. The Clippers, at 7-5, are a half-game behind and tied for ninth with New Orleans.

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Doc Rivers says his bigs were not entirely to blame for loss at Memphis

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Zach Randolph of Memphis goes up for a shot during the Grizzlies’ 107-91 victory Sunday over the Clippers/Photo by Associated Press

 

Do the math. Memphis got 30 points and 12 rebounds from post Marc Gasol and 10 points and eight rebounds from power forward Zach Randolph in the Grizzlies’ 107-91 victory over the Clippers on Sunday in Memphis. That’s a combined 40 points and 20 rebounds; Gasol shot 13 of 18, Randolph 5 of 11.

The Clippers got 12 points and just four rebounds from power forward Blake Griffin; he shot just 5 of 17. They got a meager two points and three rebounds from post DeAndre Jordan, who took just two shots and made one. That’s a combined 14 points and seven rebounds.

Suffice to say, the Clippers were thrashed in the battle of the bigs. But coach Doc Rivers wouldn’t put it all on Griffin and Jordan.

“I don’t think it was their entire fault,” Rivers said afterward. “We had great looks that we didn’t make. I thought our guards had trouble in the paint. I thought our bigs had to help a lot tonight. When they have to help  that much, it is not good. I felt bad. It looked like the bigs had a breakdown, but it was really a team breakdown. I thought we got great looks and missed them. We never bounced back.

“Blake Griffin is fine. He has played great the last few games. I think Marc Gasol played great and our team was off. Maybe they took us out of it.”

The Grizzlies at 12-2 have the NBA’s best record.

“I told the guys at the beginning of the year, when you look at the Grizzlies’ record when they are healthy, they are a great team,” Rivers said.

Memphis is 8-0 at home, which is FedExForum.

 

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Doc Rivers just loves having a guy like DeAndre Jordan on his team

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DeAndre Jordan

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

 

DeAndre Jordan started out a bit slowly this season, but he once again leads the league in rebounding with a 12.2 average. He’s also averaging 2.45 blocks, fourth in the NBA.

Coach Doc Rivers can’t say enough about his 6-foot-11 post

“He’s just a great player to have on your team,” Rivers said following his team’s 110-93 victory at Miami on Thursday. “He’s won games without scoring. He’s the perfect guy to have on a winning basketball team. He doesn’t complain about the ball and all he wants to do is go get it, meaning blocked shots and rebounds. Every team would love a guy like that.”

Jordan led the NBA in rebounding a season ago with a 13.6 average. He also averaged 2.48 blocks, which was third in the league.

Jordan is averaging 8.7 points this season after averaging 10.4 in 2013-14.

The Clippers (7-4) are 2-0 on the current seven-game road trip. They next play Sunday at Memphis at 3 p.m. (on Prime Ticket).

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