For Doc Rivers’ Clippers, much rests on trust-building

“Trust” is a word Clippers Coach Doc Rivers uses a lot. It’s something he thinks every team needs and his team still is trying to build.

Rivers wants his players to trust in each other. He wants his players to trust in the system. He wants his players to trust in the offense and the defense.

“When a team does get it on either end, you can see them play better,” Rivers said. “They are free now. They don’t have a lot of thought anymore. And that’s what we’re trying to get on both ends.”


When Rivers started to talk about what he has learned about his team, he mentioned the word “defense.”

Again, Rivers talked about trusting in the team’s concepts.

“Defensively, this is what I’ve learned: We can be really good, but we’re not at all yet,” Rivers said. “I look at our personnel and our athleticism, and I think we could be a really good defensive team. But as the game [against the Lakers showed] we’re such a long ways away…. And that’s just a trust thing.”

Rivers said playing hard on defense is one way to be a good defensive team but it takes more than that.

“If everybody played hard defensively individually, you would not be a good defensive team,” Rivers said. “I think that’s the biggest change in my thinking.… As much as you have to work on continuity on offense, you have to work that way on defense. Defense is continuity. It’s talking, being in the right place.”

Hungry to score

When a player gets into a zone where it seems as if he can’t miss a shot, they call it “feed the pig,” Rivers said. “Because when it’s going, he’s hungry.”

“It’s the same thing with a play,” Rivers said.

Rivers said the Clippers ran a couple of plays with multiple options and scored out of it against the Lakers on Tuesday night.

But he said the Clippers didn’t run that play again.

“To me, you feed it again, feed it again,” Rivers said. “I think we’re too smart sometimes. I’m pushing it, but that takes awhile. That’s where that trust and all that stuff will hopefully come. Golden State is there because they’ve been together. We’re not there yet, but we will be.”

Twitter: BA_Turner