Clippers leaving Las Vegas to take part in Orlando Pro Summer League

The Clippers have announced that for the first time they will compete in the Orlando Pro  Summer League after playing the past nine seasons in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

The league will consist of two teams from the Orlando Magic and one each from the Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Each team will play five games from July 4-10 on the Orlando Magic’s practice  court at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., with a championship game to be played on the final day.

The event will not be open to the public because of space limitations but games will be televised by NBA TV.

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Chris Paul named to All-NBA second team, Griffin and Jordan to third

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo by Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Point guard Chris Paul on Thursday was named to the All-NBA second team and forward Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan were named to the third team.

It’s the first time in franchise history three Clippers have made All-NBA in the same season and it’s the first time since 2004-05 when Phoenix did it that a team landed three players on the respective teams.

This is the second time Paul has been named to the second team; he made the first team the previous three seasons. Paul averaged 19.1 points and a league-high 10.2 assists. He made the All-Star team for the eighth consecutive season.

Griffin led the Clippers in scoring with a 21.9 scoring average during the regular season; he averaged a career-low 7.6 rebounds, but a career-high in assists at 5.3 per game. Griffin had been named to the second team the previous three seasons and this is his first time on the third team. He made his fifth All-Star game appearance in succession.

Jordan averaged a league-best 15.0 rebounds as well as 11.5 points and 2.2 blocks. This is his first selection to an All-NBA team.

 

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DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul named to NBA’s All-Defensive first team

Paul, Jordan Named First Team All-Defense

Chris Paul, left, and DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday were named to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Guard Chris Paul and center DeAndre Jordan on Wednesday were named to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team.

Paul received 67 first-place votes and was voted to the first team for the fourth consecutive season, fifth overall in his 10-year career.

This was Jordan’s first such honor. He received 84 first-place votes. Jordan led the league in rebounds during the regular season with a 15.0 average. He also led in defensive rebounds at 10.1 per game and was fourth in blocks with a 2.23 average.

Paul was second in the league in total steals with 156. His 1.9 per-game average was fifth.

Joining Paul and Jordan on the first team were forwards Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors and guard Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies.

The second team is made up of forwards Tim Duncan of San Antonio and Anthony Davis of New Orleans, center Andrew Bogut of Golden State and guards Jimmy Butler of Chicago and John Wall of Washington.

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Doc Rivers hopeful he can convince son Austin to return to Clippers’ nest

 

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Clippers guard Austin Rivers had his share of good games in the playoffs, and he had some where he did not play well. All told, he averaged 8.4 points and 1.1 assists in 14 games. He was terrific in a Game 4 victory at San Antonio in the first round, when he scored 16 points on 7 of 8 from the field. He also played key roles in two of the three victories over the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals won in seven games by the Rockets. He scored 17 points in a Game 1 victory at Houston and came through with a whopping 25 points on 10 of 13 shooting in a Game 3 victory at Staples Center, during which he had the fans there chanting, “Austin Rivers, Austin Rivers.”

His father, Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers, said Tuesday he’d love to re-sign his son for next season. He knows it won’t be easy because the Clippers can’t offer him as much money as other teams.

But he does want him back, regardless of some of the heat the younger Rivers took when he did not play well. It’s during those times that perhaps people don’t remember that he’s just 22 and won’t be 23 until August 1.

“Yeah, people who want to criticize him don’t,” the elder Rivers said. “That’s the way I always look at them. He’s young and he clearly helped us, I think we all have to agree with that. And I think he loved it here.

“I even think he liked the coach at times. You know, it’ll be interesting. I really want him back and I think it would be great to have him back and I think he’s a great fit for this team. But business is business and it’ll be an interesting thing this summer.”

Austin Rivers averaged 7.1 points and 1.7 assists during 41 regular-season games with the Clippers after being traded to the team in mid-January. After the 25-point performance in Game 3 against the Rockets, Rivers scored 12, eight, five and two points over the last four games of the series and shot a combined 11 of 32 (34.3 percent).

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Blake Griffin doesn’t think much of the so-called ‘Clippers Curse’

Blake Griffin

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

 

Not long after the Clippers were eliminated by the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals when the Rockets won Game 7 on Sunday in Houston, Blake Griffin was asked about the so-called “Clippers Curse.” The question seemed to center on the team never having gotten past the conference semifinals in franchise history, more than anything else.

Griffin seemed less-than-thrilled with the question, but he responded.

“The ‘Clippers Curse’ when I first got here was No. 1 picks getting hurt and not working out, their draft picks not working out and them not making the playoffs, them not having winning seasons,” he said. “No one talked about getting past the second round, not a single soul talked about that. But now, that’s what everyone talks about. Just like the last one, we’re going to bust through this one.”

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Contrary to report, DeAndre Jordan practiced free-throw shooting a lot

Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan hug it out.

Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan share a hug/Photo by USATSI

 

I have read with great interest about the alleged discord between Clippers point guard Chris Paul and center DeAndre Jordan. No sooner were the Clippers eliminated by the Rockets in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday, than did a story surface about how perturbed Paul has been about Jordan not working enough on his free-throw shooting during the season.

The rumor, according to this report that by the way did not quote anyone by name but went with the old “source” thing, is that Jordan may not re-sign with the Clippers, in part because of this.

I won’t mention the reporter or publication by name here because I don’t think one reporter should publicly argue with another. But I can tell you that the reporter who broke the story was not at Clippers practices on any kind of a regular basis this season. So while I’m not doubting that this reporter was told what was reported, said reporter wasn’t present enough to have seen for himself.

As someone who was at virtually every Clippers home practice and shootaround this season, I can say with conviction that no other Clippers player practiced his free-throw shooting as much as Jordan. He was often at a corner basket shooting one after another and usually a coach was with him.

That’s why any time coach Doc Rivers mentioned to us that no one shoots more practice free throws on the team than Jordan, it was easy to believe.

Now, we’re not naive. It is possible that Paul has indeed become fed up with having a starter on the team that has difficulty making more than 4 out of every 10 free throws – Jordan shot 39.7 percent this season and has a 41.7-percent career average.

But Paul, who is ultra-competitive, never expressed anything but support this season for Jordan in this regard. There never seemed to be any body language on his part that would indicate he’s mad as heck and can’t take it anymore.

Speaking of Paul’s competitiveness, the report also included an inference that Jordan does not like Paul’s “edginess” and that it wore on Jordan’s nerves. I didn’t see anything obvious in that regard, either, but sometimes professional athletes do a good job of keeping stuff like that under wraps.

More than anything, I wanted to shoot down the notion that Jordan did not practice his free throws enough. The view from here is that he practiced them more than enough. He made a lot more during practice than he did in the games, too.

I remember at one practice he asked reporters if we noticed how many of them he was making that day. He then admitted that it gets into his head during games.

I inquired about this today. I hate using the “source” thing, so I won’t go into all the details of what I found out about why this rumor has circulated. All I can say is I was told that this is all a bunch of bull and that if Jordan does leave, it won’t have anything to do with Paul.

Again, we’re not naive. That itself could be hogwash.

We’ll see what else comes up in this regard. Stay tuned.

 

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J.J. Redick says crushing Game 7 loss feels ‘like a wake or a funeral’

Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers congratulates Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets after the Rockets defeated the Clippers 113 to 100 during Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Toyota Center for the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 17, 2015 in Houston, Texas.   (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Blake Griffin of the Clippers shakes hands with the Rockets’ Dwight Howard following Houston’s 113-100 victory over the Clippers in Game 7/Photo by Scott Halleran, Getty Images

 

J.J. Redick wasn’t the only member of the Clippers to struggle in the last three games of the Western Conference semifinals won by the Houston Rockets on Sunday via a 113-100 count over the Clippers in Game 7 at Toyota Center in Houston.

Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes also struggled.

Redick on Sunday scored 10 points on 4 of 12 shooting, 2 of 9 from 3-point range. He also had six of his team’s 18 turnovers.

Afterward, Redick described the mood.

“Still in shock,” he said. “Sadness. Disappointment. You never want to equate sports with death, but it does feel like a wake or a funeral.”

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Kevin McHale: Rockets were different team from Game 1 to Game 7

Los Angeles Clippers' Jamal Crawford covers his face as he walks down the court in the closing seconds of the second half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Houston. The Rockets won 113-100. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Jamal Crawford of the Clippers hides his face in the closing seconds of the Clippers’ 113-100 loss to the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday at Toyota Center in Houston/Photo by David J. Phillip, Associated Press

 

Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale on Sunday evening was asked to talk about the difference between the Rockets team that lost Game 1 by 16 points at Toyota Center to the team that won Game 7 by a 113-100 count there over the Clippers in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals to move on to the conference finals against Golden State.

“Game 1 and Game 7 were two different teams completely,” he said. “The Game 1 team was really lethargic, walking around and we didn’t play with much pace and force.

“The Game 7 team you saw today was the way we played most of the year. With force, with aggression.”

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Clippers could use better shooting from beyond the arc in Game 7

Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan don’t look too happy here during the second half of Game 6, a 119-107 loss to the Rockets on Thursday that resulted in a Game 7 for Sunday back in Houston/Photo by Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

 

The Clippers shot 37.6 percent from 3-point range during the regular season, third-best in the NBA. They have shot just 25.7 percent and 23.3 percent from beyond the arc in the past two games of the Western Conference semifinals against the Rockets – both Clippers losses.

Coach Doc Rivers on Saturday was asked specifically how hopeful he is that will improve in Game 7 on Sunday at 12:30 at Toyota Center in Houston. He then touched on the fourth quarter of Thursday’s Game 6, when the Clippers shot just 4 of 22 from the field – 2 of 9 from 3-point range – in their 119-107 defeat.

“I mean, we’ve had open shots,” he said. “You look at that fourth-quarter debacle, I mean, we had a lot of open looks. It’s funny, live I thought we did. And on film, it was even better than I thought.

“Not only did we have open looks, for the most part, we had them by the guys that we wanted to and they just didn’t go in. The one thing that will never change is it’s a make-miss league. If you make them, you’re better.”

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Doc Rivers doesn’t think Clippers will play Game 7 with Game 6 hangover

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers walks off the court with Chris Paul after their 119-107 loss to the Rockets. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

Doc Rivers and Chris Paul get ready to exit the court at Staples Center after the Clippers fell apart in Game 6 and lost 119-107 to the Houston Rockets/Staff photo by Michael Owen Baker, Los Angeles Daily News

Doc Rivers met with reporters before practice Saturday at Toyota Center in Houston ahead of Game 7 against the Rockets on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Not surprisingly, he was asked about the proverbial hangover his team might be feeling after falling apart in Game 6, when the Rockets outscored the Clippers 51-20 over the final 15 minutes to emerge with a 119-107 victory to force Game 7.

“Whether we have a hangover or not, I don’t think so,” Rivers said. “That’s all I can say. I mean, I don’t know, obviously. But I don’t think so. I think the guys, yesterday, they were still beat up a little bit. Then we got through the film and, you know, if you looked at it rationally and that’s what I try to do, if you look at it for three quarters, we were fantastic. And so you go through the bad stuff and then you move on to the good stuff and I think that gives them some kind of comfort.”

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