Clippers’ Doc Rivers has kept his players from logging heavy minutes

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan works against Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol during a game on Nov. 4.
(Brandon Dill / Associated Press)

The Clippers are not playing heavy minutes so Coach Doc Rivers doesn’t see an issue with fatigue for his team.

Blake Griffin leads the Clippers in minutes played, averaging 33.5 per game. Chris Paul is second among the starters (31.6), DeAndre Jordan is third (31.0), J.J. Redick fourth (27.4) and reserves Jamal Crawford (24.6) and Austin Rivers (24.3) are fifth and sixth, respectively.

In the eyes of Doc Rivers, his team should not be tired.

“That’s one thing I will say I’ve always thought was a little overdone,” Rivers said before the Clippers played the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night at the AT&T Center. “Once you’re playing, you’re playing already. So if you play the last five minutes, I don’t know how much difference that will make for the next night. It’s more of, if you don’t play, then it helps you.”


It also helps that Rivers has such a deep team, allowing him to keep his players fresh in the first six games. He’s been playing a 10-man rotation for the most part early in the season.

“It’s a long season,” Rivers said. “We go game to game, and the other night we played Brandon [Bass], so we may play someone else. It really just dictates on the game.”

Clippers sought schedule changes

When the Clippers first got their schedule from the NBA, Rivers wanted to make some changes. He saw they had five games in seven days during the season’s second week, including the back-to-back games at Memphis and San Antonio on Friday and Saturday. The Spurs were also finishing a back-to-back Saturday, having played at Utah on Friday.

“This is one of the games we actually tried to get changed but we get a schedule, and then we have a week, actually we have four days, if I’m not mistaken, to try and make changes,” Rivers said about Saturday’s game. “And a change in the schedule is almost impossible. Every once in a while, they’ll change a couple, and this was not one of them. Just the back-to-back nature from where we’re coming from. But it is what it is. Both teams have to deal with it.”

Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner