Jeff Green/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Familiar faces will be the order of the day when the L.A. Clippers visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday for a 5 p.m. game (on Prime Ticket). The Grizzlies now have former Clippers Matt Barnes and Lance Stephenson, the Clippers now have Jeff Green, for whom Stephenson was traded in February.
Barnes and Stephenson have been playing well for the Grizzlies (39-30), and Clippers coach Doc Rivers has noticed.
“They’re playing great,” Rivers said. “You hope they play well. They were part of your franchise, so you want them to do well.”
“You just don’t want them to do well against you,” he said.
Rivers knows that’s what Barnes and Stephenson must have in mind, though, and Rivers suggested that’s just human nature.
“I was a player, too,” Rivers said. “And whenever you’re traded, you want to do well against your old team and your old team wants to do well against you. That never changes.”
Barnes is averaging 16 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists over the past five games. Stephenson has averaged 23.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists over his past four games.
As for Green, he has averaged 10.3 points in 13 games since coming to the Clippers. His high game was 23 points in a 120-108 loss March 9 at Oklahoma City.
Green, who played parts of the past two seasons with Memphis, said he’s not entering this game like he has to show something to the team that traded him away.
“I’ve got nothing to prove,” Green said. “At the end of the day I know it’s a business, so I don’t hold anything against anybody. Only thing I come into the game is just trying to win.”
The Clippers are 43-24.