Doc Rivers to limit Chris Paul’s, Blake Griffin’s minutes

Chris Paul, right, battles Golden State's Stephen Curry for a loose ball during an Oct. 7 exhibition game at Staples Center.
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

The Clippers have a relatively young roster, but Coach Doc Rivers is already strategizing about how to keep the team’s legs fresh and uninjured throughout the 82-game season -- and perhaps beyond.

Rivers said before Tuesday’s Staples Center exhibition game against the Golden State Warriors that he plans on giving key players Chris Paul and Blake Griffin a lot of rest throughout the year.

“We did the same thing in Boston,” Rivers said. “We didn’t play guys a lot of minutes, and I got flak for that at the time and it turned out for us.”


Rivers knows a thing or two about being successful after coaching the Celtics to the NBA championship in 2008.

“This group is a lot younger, so they’re actually harder in some ways for me to read,” Rivers said of the Clippers players. “Chris is absolutely one of the guys that I will watch closer, and Blake because of the way he plays. Even though he’s extremely young, he puts out a lot of energy in the game, so you have to be careful through the year.”

Griffin, who is 25, averaged 35.8 minutes a game last season. Paul, who turns 30 in May, averaged 35 minutes last season.

Paul averaged more minutes than the other top players in the league at his position: Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook averaged 30.7 minutes a game last season. Chicago’s Derrick Rose averaged 31.1 minutes. San Antonio’s Tony Parker averaged 29.4 minutes.

Rivers indicated that he’s going to be more prudent this time around.

“Every game I look at the schedule and I can tell you, we’ve got a couple of stretches that everybody’s not playing.”