Here are five things we learned:
1. His job is to play defense and attack on the offensive end. On Sunday against the Utah Jazz, Austin Rivers provided the Clippers with both during an 88-75 win at Staples Center.
Rivers actually led the Clippers in scoring with 19 points. He took the second most shots with 11, but he made eight of them. He made half of his four three-pointers.
He’s one of the key reserves for the Clippers, a player with just one goal in mind.
“I think [it’s] just because we’re focusing on winning,” Rivers said.
Then there was the defense Rivers played.
He’s listed as a 6-4 guard, but Rivers spent time defending Utah’s 6-7 small forward Joe Johnson, who had seven points.
“He [Austin] was very effective on Joe, because Joe had it going and once he got it going, we figured throw Austin in and see what he can do,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said.
2. The Clippers feel as if they can be a very good defensive team.Of course it’s only the second game of the season and there will be bigger challenges the rest of the season, but the Clippers’ defense was stellar against the Jazz.
The Clippers limited the Jazz to just 39.7% shooting.
“I thought that the defense was terrific,” Doc said. “We were very physical. For two games in a row, our physicality has been something you would notice.”
3. If there has been one downside to the Clippers this season it has been their three-point shooting.In two games, the Clippers are making just 25% [14-for-56] of their three-pointers.
Against the Jazz Sunday, the Clippers made 22.2% [six-for-27] of their three-pointers.
J.J. Redick, who led the NBA in three-point shooting accuracy [47.5%] last season, is making just 25% [two-for-eight] so far this season.
5. The Clippers’ starters had a strong outing against the Jazz.As a group, they were a plus-56.
DeAndre Jordan led the way with a plus-18, Chris Paul was a plus-14, Blake Griffin a plus-12, Luc Mbah a Moute a plus-8 and Redick a plus-four.
5. It’s a good thing the Clippers are playing good defense because their offense is not clicking right now.In two games, the Clippers are shooting 40.8% from the field.
They shot just 41% from the field against the Jazz on Sunday.