Tag Archives: Jamal Crawford

Clippers Practice For Fans At USC

LOS ANGELES, CA– A week before the 2015-2016 NBA regular season begins, the L.A. Clippers treated their fans to a rare open to the public practice at The Galen Center on the campus of USC in downtown Los Angeles. The crowd draped in assorted Clippers attire watched as All-Star Blake Griffin & co. put on a show. These types of fan appreciation events have come with the arrival of Head Coach and President Doc Rivers.

“These things are good,” said Rivers. Anytime the fans get to see the players outside of their norm, which means on the floor playing, they get closer. Fans are who make us, and I try to get my players to understand that.”

The Clippers have had a busy pre-season, which included a trip to China to twice play the Charlotte Hornets. Although the practice was more exhibition than execution, Rivers still used it as an opportunity to address mistakes made in the game before, a 130-95 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Run The Triangle

Clippers Assistant Coach Sam Cassell works with Blake Griffin before the Clippers open practice at the USC Galen Center.

Children led “Let’s go Clippers” chants as DeAndre Jordan finished three-man-weaves with ferocious dunks, and Jamal Crawford dazzled with his trademark playground one-on-one play. Blake Griffin swished in a couple of corner three-pointers, something opposing defenses hopes he leaves in the Trojan’s arena.

The night was special for Rivers who has successfully carved out Clippers visibility from within the Hollywood sized purple-and-gold shadow of the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I walk down the street now and I see a Clipper jersey there, and there, and another there,” said Rivers. “I tell you it’s great. It is great being a Clipper.”

Clippers have team meeting, but Doc Rivers isn’t impressed

The Clippers held a players-only meeting after suffering a 121-104 defeat to the Golden State Warriors. Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said in practice today that the meeting of the minds was beneficial.

“It helped guys clear the air,” said Crawford. “I think the main point was just to get on the same page, everybody needs to be playing on the same page. The important thing is we understand that you have to go through the process.”

But Head Coach Doc Rivers doesn’t believe in such group sessions.

“I’m not fan of team meetings,” admitted Rivers. “When I hear about some team having a team meeting I’m like I want to play those guys.”

The Way They Were

The Clippers may have many of the same players that got them to the Western Conference semifinals, but Rivers contends this isn’t the same team.

“We deal with people, not X’s and O’s,” he explained. “The names might be the same, but this isn’t the same team I had last year.”

No Rest Down The Stretch

When asked if he would mirror San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich’s style of resting his star players during certain parts of the season, Doc Rivers said he’d been there and done that.

“If you remember we did that in Boston in 2012,” recalled Rivers. “I used the last month of the season to have a second training-camp. We had two and a half hour practices, and we sacrificed a lot games down the stretch because of it.”

The Celtics had home-court advantage on the line in the final game of the season against the Atlanta Hawks who they were to face in the first-round. Rivers rested his starters and ceded home-court to the Hawks. The move proved to be brilliant in the end with the rested aging Celtics winning the series 4-2.

“We played Atlanta the last game of the season and could have had home-court advantage, but we rested our starters and said just let them have it,” added Rivers. It was a gamble but it paid off in the end. I obviously won’t be able to do that with this team.”