Injuries force Doc Rivers to get creative with Clippers lineups

Injuries force Doc Rivers to get creative with Clippers lineups
Clippers coach Doc Rivers speaks with guard C.J. Williams during a game against the Miami Heat on Saturday. (Joe Skipper / Associated Press)

Before the Clippers played the Spurs Monday night, Doc Rivers was asked how he is dealing with the constant shuffling of his lineups given the rash of injuries the team has faced.

The Clippers welcomed back guard Austin Rivers before the Spurs game, but lost Lou Williams and Wesley Johnson to injuries.


"It's just one of those years thus far. I keep saying that, because at any point it can turn around. You can get healthy and go on a run," Doc Rivers said. "For me, I look at it as coaching. You take advantage of this, as crazy as that sounds, and you try to get the young guys to learn and teach them, because if you can get healthy, you may need a couple of them. So this is an opportunity for them. It's an opportunity for even our staff to see players."

Rivers didn't have Williams for the San Antonio game because of a right foot sprain that has left the guard probable for Wednesday night's game against Phoenix at Staples Center.

Johnson is definitely out for the Suns game because of left foot soreness.

Rivers does have Austin back after the guard sat out two games while in the NBA's concussion protocol.

The Clippers get to see more of Jamil Wilson and C.J. Williams, two players who signed two-way contracts to play for the Clippers' development league team, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario.

Rookies Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell are also playing extended minutes with the Clippers.

"That's who we are," Rivers said. "But, I've been in this long enough to know that No. 1, no one feels sorry for you, so you can't feel sorry for yourself. And No. 2, these guys are all NBA players and you just coach them.

"You coach them harder at times. Sometimes you have to coach them softer and you have to mix it up. I love coaching them, I will say this. As miserable as losing is, I don't think I've had as much fun coaching in a while. This is a great group to coach. They listen. They want to learn. They want to get better."



When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Staples Center.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570, 1330.

Update: The Clippers have defeated the Suns eight consecutive times at Staples Center. They have outscored Phoenix by an average of 17.3 points per game during that span.


Twitter: @BA_Turner