On a team this deep and with this much talent, there could be a risk of some of unhappy players on the Clippers.
So it’ll be up to Clippers Coach Doc Rivers to keep the lines of communications open with his players so that the team remains in harmony when someone doesn’t fit into the rotations.
“Yeah, it’s called coaching,” Rivers said. “No, literally, it’s called coaching. You coach them. You try to get them to buy in. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they say they do and don’t. It’s a process and you just go through it.”
Rivers played 10 players in the opener at Portland on Thursday night and 10 again when the game mattered in the Clippers’ home season opener Sunday at Staples Center. All 13 of the Clippers got to play, including rookie Diamond Stone in the fourth quarter of the blowout.
Rivers said already knows what his rotation will be this season.
“This is going to be different because we have so many guys and we have so many different rotations,” Rivers said. “So honestly I kind of know the rotations that we know that work. What we don’t know is some of the newer rotations that we can use this year.”
Rivers said he’ll use a three-guard rotation at times. He’ll play “extremely big” and will have some of the new players “mixing” in with the core returning players.
“There’re a lot of teams that can play a lot of different groups, but there’s very few teams that all the players can handle those different rotations when they’re not in on a given night,” Rivers said. “So, I think that’s the type of team we have and if it does it’ll serve us well.”
Blake Griffin lands on Clippers teammates as he dives for a loose ball during first half action.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers forward Blake Griffin fouls Jazz guard George Hill as they fight for a loose ball during second quarter action.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has swelling in his right thumb after slamming it against the hand of a Utah Jazz player on Sunday.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Jazz center Rudy Gobert pulls down a rebound over Clippers forward Blake Griffin.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan doubles over in pain after spraining his thumb early in the second half.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan slams home two points.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers guard Chris Paul navigates his way through the Jazz defense.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers guard Raymond Felton tries to shoot over Jazz forward Derrick Favors during first half action.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clippers teammates Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin stand for the National Anthem before a game against the Utah Jazz.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Griffin piles up points
With four minutes, 50 seconds left in the second quarter, Blake Griffin scored his 10th point of the game.
The significance was that he had moved up on the Clippers’ all-time scoring list.
By finishing with 18 points against the Jazz, Griffin has now scored 8,846 points over his seven-year career, surpassing Corey Maggette (8,835 points) to become the Clippers’ fourth all-time leading scorer.
The Clippers encourage fans to dress in costumes as the team will celebrate Halloween night with giveaways and themed entertainment during Monday night’s game against Phoenix at Staples Center.
Up next for Clippers: vs. Phoenix on Monday
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Staples Center.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570, 1330.
Records: Clippers 2-0, Suns 0-3.
Record vs. Suns (2015-16): 2-2.
Update: The Clippers and Suns both will be playing back-to-back games, but Phoenix had to travel to Los Angeles after losing at home to Golden State. The Suns are averaging 101.3 points per game, but they are allowing 110.6 points per outing.