There's a word for it, whenever
That's right, whenever the Clippers' offense is functioning optimally it is reminiscent of the San Antonio Spurs, the team they will play in the first round of the playoffs beginning with the series opener Sunday night at
"Ball movement," Clippers Coach
The Clippers have the
San Antonio made the Miami Heat resemble a cat chasing a ball on a string in the 2014 Finals, constantly getting yanked from spot to spot to spot to the point of exhaustion.
"They figure if they move the ball around long enough," Clippers forward
It's the same story with the Clippers, whose success goes far beyond the playmaking of point guard Chris Paul. Forward Blake Griffin is one of the league's best passing big men and three-point specialists Redick and Matt Barnes help space the floor to create lanes for player and ball movement.
The Clippers are more athletic than San Antonio, but the Spurs historically have been more disciplined and patient.
"They have things that we don't have," Rivers said. "We probably have things that they don't have and that's all we can focus on. They're going to take away what you do well or at least your first couple of options on every set.
"Where they've been great over the years is they keep trusting their third and fourth [options] and other teams eventually break down. What we've done, as you can see through the year, is get better and better at it."
Jordan said he wanted the responsibility of guarding Spurs power forward
Equally confounding could be San Antonio's balance. Five players average double figures in scoring, led by forward
"You know who their key offensive guys are," Rivers said, "but they make it very difficult to key on those key offensive guys because they're willing to pass."
The Clippers badly failed their last playoff test against the Spurs in 2012, losing four games by an average of 11.5 points while getting swept in the Western Conference semifinals.
Jordan said the Clippers have grown since then and are better prepared for the challenges that await.
"A lot of it is mental toughness," Jordan said. "Not splintering as a team when things don't go right and even when things do go right and we're up 10 we don't want to stop playing defense because that's not the way we play games here. We try to get stops and keep going."
Easier said than done, of course. Especially against the Spurs.