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Clippers rookie Jerome Robinson is impressing coach Doc Rivers

Clippers rookie Jerome Robinson is impressing coach Doc Rivers
Clippers rookie Jerome Robinson defends with Montrezl Harrell against Zach LaVine last week in Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

Jerome Robinson has made the most of his playing time with the Clippers’ development league team, and Doc Rivers said the rookie has been impressive when called upon.

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Robinson played his 14th game with the Clippers on Sunday against Sacramento, scoring four points in 12 minutes.

“He’s been playing great with us now,” Rivers said. “We know he can shoot the ball, No. 1. I like the fact that he can move without the ball. I think that’s an art that most players never get in their whole career, and Jerome came into the league knowing how to do that. So that’ll help us.”

Scoring has never been the issue for Robinson. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard proved that by scoring 23 points on nine-for-18 shooting over a five-game stretch with the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario. He was five for 11 from three-point range.

Rivers said Robinson has made some “big shots for us,” but his biggest strides have been on defense.

“The area he’s made a vast improvement on is defensively and just being more physical,” Rivers said. “Early on that was eating him alive, just eating him up and now he kind of accepts it. He works at it, so he’s been great for us.”

At 21, Robinson had to gain confidence that he could play in the NBA.

“You remember earlier in the year, even in training camp, you almost had to beg him to shoot,” Rivers said. “Well, you don’t have to do that anymore. He’s shooting it every time. That’s what we want him to do. We really do. We want him to be an aggressive offensive player. I told him that from the first day of camp. Like, ‘You have something that most guys in the league don’t and that’s a gift of shot and a quick release. You have to use it. Otherwise, why would you play?’ And so, he’s been great.”

Gallinari injury update

Forward Danilo Gallinari missed his fifth consecutive game because of back spasms and there is uncertainty about when he’ll return.

“I don’t really have a true idea. But I think pretty soon,” Rivers said. “I think in the next game or two.”

The Clippers play the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night and the Lakers on Thursday night.

CLIPPERS NEXT

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VS. ATLANTA

When: 7:30 p.m., Monday.

On Air – TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570, 1330.

UPDATE: The Hawks lead the NBA in pace at 105.1 possessions per game. Center John Collins leads the team in points (19.4) and rebounds (10.2), and he’s tied for 20th in the NBA in double-doubles (19). Rookie point guard Trae Young leads the team in assists (7.3) and is second in scoring (16.2).

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