As Clippers season winds down, coach has no formula for resting players

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan dunks during the team's 107-100 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center on March 22, 2015.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

It has become a common practice for coaches to rest their players, and it is something Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he has considered doing.

“If I think our guy needs rest, then we’ll rest the guy,” Rivers said.

“What I still don’t know — and I’m not smart enough to know that — if rest in games 40-50, is that more effective than resting from games 70 to 80? We all have theories. I’m sure there actually is an answer to that. I would think later has to be better. But who the heck knows?”

With a little over a month left in the season, Rivers said he won’t let where his team stands in the Western Conference dictate his decision.

The Clippers have 11 regular-season games left and are trying to move up in the standings to secure a home-court playoff series.

“If I thought rest would help us in the playoffs, then we’re going to rest,” Rivers said. “I think that’s the better way of explaining. Because if you’re playing guys and you’re tired, you’re going to lose anyway. So give me a chance of a healthy team. I know that as a fact: A healthy team is better than an unhealthy team. I’m positive of that.”


Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan have played in all 71 games this season, and both want to play in all 82.

Paul has never played in every game of a season during his career, injuries keeping him out. But his goal this season is to play in all 82 regular-season games.

Rivers said that won’t play a role in his decision on whether to rest players.

“The 82 thing is an individual thing,” Rivers said. “That does nothing for our team. If resting him at some point we feel is the best thing for him, then he’s going to have to take that hit.”

Crawford still out

Gingerly, Jamal Crawford limped into the Clippers locker room, the bruise in his right calf keeping him out of his 10th consecutive game.

The Clippers said Crawford had the calf drained in the last 10 days and that he has been resting and doing some work in the pool.

“Jamal told me he’s feeling better,” Rivers said. “It’s just that it doesn’t seem like he is. Honestly we don’t know. There’s no target date for Jamal, for sure.”

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