Doc Rivers says Trail Blazers played harder, deserved to win

Clippers guard Chris Paul, right, drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless on Saturday night.
(AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Chris Paul, right, is defended by Portland’s Maurice Harkless during Saturday’s game at Moda Center in Portland/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


Clippers coach Doc Rivers didn’t want to hear that his team might have lacked focus in its 96-88 loss to Portland on Saturday in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series with the Trail Blazers at Moda Center. He would rather compliment Portland, which is what he did post-game.

“Yeah, it wasn’t the focus,” Rivers said. “It’s so easy when you lose, it’s focus; that’s the easy way. They played hard. They were tougher, they destroyed us on the glass, they ran harder, they got to their spots quicker, they got to the loose balls faster. They played hard, so they deserved to win the game. I really thought they deserved to win the game.”

The Trail Blazers outrebounded the Clippers 56-44. Sixteen of Portland’s rebounds were of the offensive variety, resulting in 18 second-chance points. The Clippers scored 14 points off of their 11 offensive rebounds.

The Clippers lead the series 2-1. It continues with Game 4 Monday night at Moda Center.

Doc Rivers knows few are expecting Clippers in conference finals

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Doc Rivers/AP photo by Danny Moloshok


By and large, the Clippers are not expected to be in the Western Conference finals. What most are saying is that it will be Golden State and San Antonio. Coach Doc Rivers knows that, but he doesn’t mind one bit. He doesn’t believe his players are concerned with that, either.

“I haven’t heard a lot of guys talking about that,” he said at Saturday’s morning shootaround ahead of Game 3 of the first-round series between the Clippers and Portland at Moda Center; the Clippers lead 2-0. “We just believe we’re a good team. And we just have to prove it by our wins and our play. But Golden State deserves everything they’re getting. They won 73 games. If you don’t talk about them, you’;re being silly.

“They get it all, and, to me, the two teams that everyone should be talking about are the two teams we’re talking about – them and San Antonio. I mean, I hear it every day – that Western Conference finals series is set up already. But I think there is nothing wrong with people making that assumption. We just don’t agree with it. And there is nothing wrong with that either.”


Doc Rivers in favor of Hack-a-DJ rule under proper circumstances

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


NBA commissioner Adam Silver said this week that a new rule could be instituted this summer to combat the Hack-a-DJ strategy used against the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and some other poor free-throw shooters.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he was in favor of a change, under the proper circumstances.

“Yeah, I just think you’ve gotta give it a lot of thought,” Rivers said at the morning shootaround before Game 3 of his team’s playoff series against Portland; the Clippers lead 2-0. “You have to do it the right way. … I think when it does change, it will change the right way; I don’t think it’ll bail guys out completely. We’ll see.”

Rivers was asked if he had an idea as to what the rule should entail.

“I do, but I’m not going to talk about it today,” he said. “We’re still discussing. There is just a lot of stuff on the plate.”

Rivers is on the league’s competition committee.

Clippers’ guard J.J. Redick still dealing with painful sore left heel

J.J. Redick of the Clippers hits the deck after burying a 3-pointer just more than a minute into Wednesday’s game against Portland. He was fouled, but missed the free throw/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill


One can only imagine how painful a bruised heel can be, and no one knows that better than Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick. He spoke about his bruised left heel, an injury sustained April 12 against Memphis in the second-to-last game of the regular season, after Wednesday’s 102-81 victory over Portland in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs.

“It’s something that I have to continue to monitor and take care of,” Redick said. “To be honest, it’s very sore. And after Sunday’s game it was pretty sore the last few days. So it’s just something that, hopefully, will heal. But it’s going to take time.”

Redick scored 17 points in Game 1 and 17 in Game 2. He played 26 1/2 and 28 1/2 minutes, respectively. He averaged 28 minutes during the season.

Coach Doc Rivers said Thursday at practice that the heel is bothering Redick.

“Yeah, it definitely has an impact, I think with his movement, for sure,” he said. “I think as the game goes on I’m trying to figure out how to rest him.”

Rivers said he wasn’t sure if giving Redick a longer rest than usual in Game 1 helped.

“I actually thought he didn’t move that well coming back in, so we may adjust that,” Rivers said.

Game 3 is Saturday in Portland. The Clippers lead the series 2-0.




Doc Rivers says losing legends Prince and Michael Jackson so early ‘is just crazy to me’

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Doc Rivers expressed his sadness Thursday regarding the death of music icon Prince/AP photo by Danny Moloshok

Clippers coach Doc Rivers was bummed out about the sudden death of Prince on Thursday at age 57.

“Yeah, it’s really sad,” Rivers said Thursday morning at practice. “Him and Michael (Jackson) were my two guys and to lose them both this early is just crazy to me. Growing up, it was Prince or Michael. Sometimes, you had to take sides.”

Rivers said he saw Prince “two or three times” in concert.

LA Clippers hold Blazers to 34.1-percent shooting, want to be even better

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


The Clippers held the Portland Trail Blazers to 34.1-percent shooting Wednesday in their 102-81 victory in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series. Yet, coach Doc Rivers said the team could have played even better defense. Point guard Chris Paul agreed.

“Could have been better,” Paul said. “That’s why we’re going to come in tomorrow and watch film. Damian (Lillard) is tough to defend, which is why we’re always giving those different looks to him and stuff like that. But tonight I could have done a better job and not just given him all the backdoor layups and dunks and things like that.”

Lillard scored 17 points, but shot just 6 of 22.

The Clippers lead the series 2-0. Game 3 is Saturday at Portland.