Doc Rivers remains confident about Clippers
If you just happened to drop in on the Clippers for the first time since the All-Star break and saw the sub-.500 record in the last 11 games, the lackluster defensive numbers and the turnovers, you might think Coach Doc Rivers would be worried.
But before the Clippers took the Staples Center court Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, Rivers’ voice was calm and his words were optimistic.
“To me, I like where we’re at,” Rivers said. “I would like to be playing better, but I think we will. I have a lot of confidence in where we’re headed. So, I don’t look at it as negative as the outside world looks at it.”
But that perception from the outside world? It hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“I don’t think we are struggling. I think we’re playing OK. We’re not playing great. I just think there are times, and I’m just being honest, we’re looked at in a different lens,” Rivers said. “I don’t think Golden State is worried about struggling right now. It’s part of the season. Cleveland has lost four out of five, but for whatever reason, if we don’t play great, it’s a different lens. I don’t get that.
“Maybe because they won a title they get the benefit of the doubt. I thought that early in the year. We had all these injuries, no one mentions it. And Golden State has a couple and it’s the end of the world for them.”
While Cleveland and Golden State are without major pieces — the Cavaliers without Kevin Love and the Warriors without Kevin Durant — the Clippers are finally healthy. Still, Rivers said, being healthy and being all the way back are different things.
“When you have the injuries we’ve had, all the changes that you have to make to try and just win those games. And, then when you get your group back, you have to go back to what you were trying to do earlier. I don’t think people understand how hard that is. And, I do,” Rivers said. “That’s why I’m not as down about what we’re going through.”
Milwaukee guard Malcolm Brogdon, a candidate for rookie of the year, worked out for the Clippers before last year’s draft. “When you walked out of the interview with Brogdon, you were like, ‘My gosh, he should actually be running for president,’” Rivers said. “I actually made that statement. He’s more qualified … strike that. I didn’t mean that. But, he’s just over himself. He’s a great kid.” … Before Wednesday’s game, Chris Paul made 51.9% of his three-point shots since the All-Star break, fifth among players with 20 attempts or more.
When: 6 p.m. PDT Thursday.
Where: Pepsi Center.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570, 1330.
Records: Clippers 40-28; Nuggets 32-35.
Record vs. Nuggets: 1-2.
Update: The Clippers’ tough month of travel continues with one of the NBA’s most brutal tasks — a second night of a back-to-back in Denver. In addition to the late arrival in town and the change in altitude, the Nuggets were off Wednesday, waiting for the Clippers to come to town. Danilo Gallinari leads six Denver players in double-digit scoring with 17.7 points per game.