Doc Rivers not concerned about Hack-a-DJ tactic by Trail Blazers

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


How Clippers guards Chris Paul and J.J. Redick do against Portland guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, as well as how the Clippers rebound against the better-rebounding Trail Blazers are two key components of the first-round playoff series between the teams.

However, Hack-a-DJ could also figure prominently. Portland coach Terry Stotts is not afraid to use the tactic, which is fouling poor free-throw shooting Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on purpose. Nor should he be, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before the teams tipped off for Game 1 on Sunday night at Staples Center.

“I mean, he should use it,” Rivers said. “There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s part of the rules still, never had a problem with guys doing it. We’ve been pretty successful when guys have done it. There have been a couple of times – like in San Antonio one game, probably two or three times where it actually affected us. But overall, it’s been pretty good for us.”





Doc Rivers praises Kobe Bryant, Warriors and then talks Portland

Warriors Clippers Basketball

Clippers coach Doc Rivers shouts at a referee during the Clippers’ 115-112 loss to Golden State on Feb. 20 at Staples Center/AP photo by Danny Moloshok


Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ second team had just lost 114-105 in Wednesday’s regular-season finale at Phoenix, when he was asked to talk about the Portland Trail Blazers. The Clippers (53-29) and Portland (44-38) will tangle in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, beginning Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center.

Rivers at first went off topic, and for good reason.

“Portland?” he said. “We really should be talking about Kobe right now. We REALLY should be talking about Golden State first, but what Kobe is doing right now is amazing. I think we’re going to try to sign him to a 10-day. It was really cool.”

Rivers was speaking of the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant scoring 60 points in his farewell game Wednesday during a 101-96 victory over Utah, and about Golden State beating Memphis 125-104 to win its record 73rd regular-season game. Rivers finally answered the original question.

“Well, everybody’s wanted us, so we’ll be ready, they’ll be ready,” he said. “We had some really interesting games during the regular season, so I’m looking forward to it. They have two terrific guards (Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum). (Coach) Terry Stotts has done an amazing job with their role players they have around those two guards. I think they’ve improved all year, so it’ll be a tough series.”

The Clippers went 3-1 against Portland this season. They won by scores of 102-87, 109-98 and 96-94 and lost 102-91.


Five things to take from Clippers’ 115-109 victory over Portland

  • Just think, the Clippers were down by 35 points (64-29) in this one midway through the second quarter and outscored the Trail Blazers by 41 points the rest of the way.
  • We saw, as Portland coach Terry Stotts said, “vintage Paul Pierce.” Pierce scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Clippers were overtaking the Trail Blazers. Pierce shot 7 of 11, 5 of 7 from 3-point range. He also had four assists. Not too shabby for a guy who just turned 38 on Oct. 13.
  • Austin Rivers had his second solid game in a row, coming through with 16 points off the bench on 6 of 11 shooting, 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.
  • Sixth man Jamal Crawford did not play in this game, as he is hurting from a right triceps contusion. Coach Doc Rivers said after the game he doesn’t think it’s serious and listed Crawford as “day-to-day.”
  • The Clippers did have 24 turnovers. Other than the slow start, that was about the only negative thing in what was the team’s final exhibition game. The Clippers finished 3-3 in such games and will now prepare for their regular-season opener Wednesday at Sacramento.

Portland coach Terry Stotts bummed out about Wednesday’s loss to Clippers

Chris Paul scored 41 points in Wednesday’s 126-122 victory at Portland/Photo by Don Ryan, Associated Press


There is a chance the Clippers (50-26) and Portland Trail Blazers (48-26) will play each other in the first round of the playoffs. That could be a very good thing for the Clippers, who defeated Portland 126-122 on Wednesday night at Portland after trailing by 19 points midway through the second quarter. The Clippers won the season series 3-1 over Portland, with no margin of victory by either team more than six points.

Portland coach Terry Stotts therefore admitted that Wednesday’s loss was indeed a bummer.

“Look, you hate losing games,” he said. “You hate losing at home and you hate losing to a team that you might see in the playoffs. There’s a lot of things not to be happy about tonight. But we were very competitive, as were they. All four games with the Clippers have come down to the last couple minutes. That’s part of the NBA. You don’t like dropping games at home, but sometimes you do.”