Rest assured, Rivers will continue to sit players

Indiana Pacers at Los Angeles Clippers

Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, tries to get past Pacers forward Thaddeus Young, center, and guard Jeff Teague during the first half of Sunday’s game.

(Paul Buck / EPA)

The schedule made it look like it might be a good time to rest a Clippers starter. The advanced metrics indicated everyone should be available to play.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers went with the more contemporary gauge of his players’ fatigue levels Sunday night at Staples Center, deciding not to hold anyone out against the Indiana Pacers even though his team was coming off a six-game trip and concluding a stretch of 21 games in 36 days.

“Everybody’s good,” Rivers said before the game.

The Clippers’ use of biometrics for the first time this season has led them to rest players even on days when they said they felt fine because the numbers associated with their workload said otherwise. Shooting guard J.J. Redick didn’t play against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, three days after power forward Blake Griffin was held out against the Brooklyn Nets.


It’s not always a painless process.

“Honestly, some teams — and some of the players on other teams — have not liked it,” Rivers said. “But it’s done for the good of the player and obviously the team, so you just got to trust the process.”

Rivers said he wanted pushback from players eager to participate but would not override the scientific figures, even if there were times when they could resemble gobbledygook in conversations with those entrusted to interpret them.

“They start talking, literally they talk Spanish, you know, or French,” Rivers said, “because on some of the things they say, that comes out of their mouths, I can’t spell or say. But at the end, when they finish with their half-hour presentation, I usually say, ‘So that means ‘blank’ can’t play tomorrow?’ ”


Clippers shooting guard Jamal Crawford hasn’t been forced to rest this season but said he would be willing to sit out if asked to do so.

“You kind of have to,” Crawford said. “They know what’s best for us and they have our best interests. They have nothing to gain by us sitting out [unnecessarily]. We’re all in this together and as much as I want to play, I’ll just be there with my team.”

The biometrics are the latest measure designed to help enhance player performance. Pacers Coach Nate McMillan consulted with sleep specialist Charles Czeisler when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers, prompting Rivers to do the same when he was with the Boston Celtics.

“He correctly projected games we would struggle and we hired him, and he made a huge difference,” Rivers said of Czeisler. “We changed our entire travel schedule.”

Rivers noted that the Clippers held only one morning shootaround on their recent trip, optimizing their schedule in favor of rest. They’ll get a rare breather this week, with only one game over the next five days.

Success is Bruin

The UCLA basketball team has won its first nine games, its best start since it went 14-0 during the 2006-07 season. That also happened to be the sophomore season of Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute.

“Wow,” Mbah a Moute said when apprised of the historical footnote. “I heard they’re doing really good right now, so I’m excited.”


Mbah a Moute, who spent three seasons with the Bruins before being selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 2008 draft, did not watch UCLA’s victory over top-ranked Kentucky on Saturday, though he had a good excuse. Tipoff was at 9:30 a.m. PST.

“We got back from a long road trip, man,” Mbah a Moute said. “It was too early.”

Mbah a Moute has not seen a game inside Pauley Pavilion since it was renovated before the 2012-13 season. He pledged to attend at least one game this season, but it probably won’t be the one involving his brother, Roger Moute a Bidias, a senior forward at California. The Clippers will be traveling to Sacramento when the Golden Bears play at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 5.

Twitter: @latbbolch

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