The novelty may have worn off a little bit, but the distinctiveness of playing against his father still makes any game against the Clippers special for Golden State’s Mike Dunleavy Jr.
“We really didn’t think about it until it happened,” Dunleavy said before Saturday’s game against his father, Mike Sr.'s Clippers at Staples Center. “But once he got the job here, it hit me.... It’s been great because there hasn’t been too many father-son combinations in the league. So it means a lot in that regard.
Dunleavy Jr., a third-year swingman from Duke, is having his best season as a pro for the Warriors, averaging 11.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists heading into Saturday’s game. He said that it’s never easy playing the Clippers.
“The first few games were kind of strange and they still are in some ways, but I’m getting kind of used to it,” said Dunleavy Jr., who talks to his father several times a week during the season.
“Once the game gets going, I try very hard to block everything out and treat him like any other coach.... But it still gets kind of weird to hear your father’s voice out there coaching a different team on the court.”
Dunleavy Sr. on Clipper forward Chris Wilcox, who returned from the injured list earlier in the week after sitting out 13 games because of a stress fracture in his lower right leg:
“He’s only had one practice. It’s not like we’ve got a chance to see him play, running around in practice. Normally, when a guy returns from injury, you watch him and once you see how he looks, you then try to work him in.”
Wilcox, who did not play Friday at Portland, played four minutes against Golden State, scored one point on a free throw, took one shot, grabbed one rebound and committed two fouls.
After playing host to the New York Knicks on Monday, the Clippers will play nine consecutive road games and will not play another game at Staples Center until Feb. 24 when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves.