Upon learning that NBA owners had approved a proposed seven-year collective bargaining agreement this week, Clippers guard Chris Paul was glad another step had been taken in the process.
The new deal was tentatively agreed to last week.
The owners voted unanimously to pass it and the players are expected to complete their voting this week.
“That’s good. That’s really good what the owners did,” said Paul, the president of the NBA’s Players’ Assn. “Now we’ve got to do our part. It’s a lot easier for 30 owners to get together than it is for 420 players. So we just have to figure that part out.”
Paul Pierce starts again
Rather than try to match the size of the bigger San Antonio Spurs, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers started Paul Pierce at forward for the second consecutive game in place of the injured Blake Griffin.
The Spurs go with a starting lineup of 7-foot Pau Gasol, 6-11 LaMarcus Aldridge and 6-7 Kawhi Leonard.
The Clippers had the 6-7 Pierce alongside 6-8 Luc Mbah a Moute and 6-11 DeAndre Jordan.
Their hope was that Pierce could help spread the floor with his outside shooting.
“We just felt like he spaces the floor,” Rivers said. “He’s smart. We don’t love the matchup obviously with the Gasol part of it or Aldridge or whoever he [Pierce] takes. ... I think the guys are more comfortable so this is probably more of a mental reason than a strategy thing.”
It was Mbah a Moute’s third game back after sitting out two games because of a bruised right shoulder.
He’s trying to get back to being 100% in the midst of a stretch of four games in five nights this week and another of five games in seven days next week.
“That type of injury gets better with time,” Mbah a Moute said. “So, obviously I wouldn’t be out there if I wasn’t good, if I wasn’t optimistic about it. I’m good. It’s like one of those when you twist an ankle it takes a little bit of time to get back right. It’s one of those. Just managing it. Getting more treatment and usually try to do some early work at home just to keep healthy and keep it safe.”
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