Clippers coaches push to make Chris Paul more aggressive

Clippers coaches push to make Chris Paul more aggressive
Point guard Chris Paul (3) goes over a play with Coach Doc Rivers. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

They are constantly yapping in Chris Paul's ear, urging and pleading with the Clippers' All-Star to be more aggressive.

One moment it's Clippers Coach Doc Rivers doing the talking with his point guard, and the next time it assistant coach Sam Cassell holding the conversation with Paul.


Paul was asked if Rivers or Cassell does most of the talking when he is not on the attack.

"Both of them," Paul said, laughing. "Both of them."

And whom do you listen to more?

"I try to listen to both of them," Paul said. "Sam is constantly on me. He thinks I pass up 1,000 shots. I do pass up a few here and there, and I'm working on that. But both of them stay on me about being aggressive."

Cassell was known as a nonstop talking guard during his 15-year NBA career.

Now he's another voice Rivers can use in trying to push Paul to be a little more selfish.

"It's funny, I try to let Sam tell him," Rivers said. "Sam thinks you should shoot every time."

Paul is second on the team in scoring (18.0 points per game behind Blake Griffin's 23.6) and first in assists (10.1).

But Paul takes just 13.8 field-goal attempts per game, because the point guard in him prefers to make sure his teammates eat first and he eats last.

"I try to pick my spots," Paul said. "I think I'm pretty good at making two people guard me. Sometimes I find the open guy and sometimes I do pass up shots. I've just got to shoot it."

Rivers is content to let Paul run the team as he sees fit, figuring his point guard will take charge at the right moment.

"I ask so much of him," Rivers said. "I don't want that to be something else that I'm yelling at him about."

But there are moments like during Saturday night's game when Paul seemed to sense his offense was needed.

His three three-pointers in the third period helped the Clippers open a 26-point lead against Phoenix.


Then when the Suns cut that lead to 11 points late in the game, Paul rose to the occasion again, scoring seven consecutive points to close the deal for the Clippers.


"When Chris is aggressive offensively, then [opponents] have to account for him," Rivers said. "I think a lot of teams play him to be a passer. When he's aggressive like that [game against Phoenix], now they have to account for him.

"Then it makes Blake unguardable. It makes J.J. [Redick] unguardable. It makes Jamal [Crawford] unguardable. It opens the lane for DJ [DeAndre Jordan] so he can get dunks on slips."


The Clippers didn't practice Sunday.

Twitter: @BA_Turner