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Doc Rivers is whatever the Clippers need him to be

Doc Rivers is whatever the Clippers need him to be
Clippers guard Chris Paul talks with Coach Doc Rivers during the second half of game against the Mavericks on March 23. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

His role is more than just being coach and president of basketball operations for the Clippers. His role is more than to just draw up plays and push the right buttons.

Doc Rivers' role is to be all things for his team.

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And that includes keeping them uplifted when their spirits might wane.

"A lot of times you have to have more belief than them so they can have belief," Rivers said. "And I think that's important."

Over his years of coaching, Rivers has found himself being a spiritual advisor, a psychologist, a father-figure, a financial advisor and anything else it takes to help his players.

"I've had stuff that you couldn't imagine, with abuse and all kinds of stuff," Rivers said. "We're obviously not trained to deal with that stuff, or some of the stuff. But you are trained or just because of living your life, trying to deal with that individual player and putting them in the right place. Then a lot of the times you have to choose his life and happiness even over basketball to get him to play basketball and that's on all levels, I would assume, but definitely on a pro level."

Clippers deal with back-to-backs

By the time Saturday's game was over, the Clippers had less than 24 hours to prepare to play the Sacramento Kings at home Sunday.

Both games were scheduled to start at 12:30, and even though the games were at Staples Center, it makes for two taxing days for the Clippers.

"It helps that there's no travel involved," Rivers said. "But, back-to-backs are tough no matter where they're at."

The Clippers play six back-to-back games this month.

After this one, they have another one this week when they host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night and then travel to Phoenix for a game Thursday night.

"Back-to-back 12:30 games to me are brutal. I don't know why," Rivers said. "Players are creature of habits, and the first game you take them out of it and then you do it again the next. We did a couple of those last year, I think, and those are hard ones. They just are.

"But, I still go to back to it's not like we didn't know it was coming. It's not like we didn't know March was coming with the schedule. There're no excuses. The game is going to start tomorrow at 12:30 p.m and we've got to be ready."

Clippers today

VS SACRAMENTO

When: 12:30 p.m.

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Where: Staples Center.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570.

Records: Clippers 44-30; Kings 27-45.

Records vs. Kings: 2-0.

Update: The Kings have lost four straight games, eight of their last 10. In the 15 games rookie Buddy Hield has played since being acquired by the Kings, the guard has averaged 14.7 points game on 50% shooting, 44.9% on three-pointers.

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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