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.”