Austin Rivers decides against rest before Clippers’ loss

first_imgFor whatever reason, no one got Sunday night off to rest before a 111-102 loss to the Pacers.“Everybody’s good,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said pregame.Whether they are or not, it might be hard to get an honest self-evaluation from Clipper players.Paul and Crawford were both asked Friday how they’d react if they were next to sit, and neither player seemed thrilled with the idea. Still, the Clippers have invested in the biomedical department, and Crawford said he understood why the team would want to utilize the technologies. “We hired a lot of people this summer. And, you know, from a coaching point you just got to trust them,” Rivers said. “They clearly know more than me. A lot of teams are doing it, a lot of teams have raved about him. Honestly, some teams and some of the players on other teams have not liked it. But it’s done for the good of the player and obviously the team, so you just got to trust the process.”Griffin and Redick both had discussions with the Clippers’ player performance staff before ultimately accepting the decision.“You want pushback,” Rivers said.It just probably won’t matter.“No, I can’t be convinced,” he said. “I can be convinced if both sides are willing to negotiate. But I can’t be convinced if the scientists say no. Then that’s no. That’s a fact, and that won’t change.”Pierce playing for defensive purposesThe Clippers’ five-man unit of Austin Rivers, Crawford, Marreese Speights, Raymond Felton and Wesley Johnson, statistically, is the second best defensive group in the NBA. Opponents have scored only 91.1 points per 100 possessions against that lineup – second among 5-man groups that have played at least 100 minutes this season. So, it stands to reason that Rivers has decided to use veteran Paul Pierce instead of Johnson for an offensive boost, right?“And that’s where you’re wrong actually,” Rivers said. “Because actually I think Paul probably knows the positioning better than anyone. Like the Cleveland game, he had two plays where he was in the right spot defensively. “That was more of a defensive decision.”The 5-man lineup with Pierce, Rivers, Crawford, Speights and Felton is allowing 109.6 points per 100 possessions in 31 minutes prior to Sunday’s game. Johnson replaced Pierce in the rotation in the second half after another poor defensive stretch for the bench in the second quarter. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img LOS ANGELES >> Playing for the 22nd time in just 36 days, Sunday night against Indiana might’ve been the night to tap Chris Paul or Jamal Crawford on the shoulder and tell them it’s time.J.J. Redick had to do it on Friday in New Orleans. Blake Griffin had to do it in Brooklyn.And soon, it’ll be someone else’s turn.Maybe it’s because the Clippers get two days off before the game. Maybe it’s because the workload for Paul and DeAndre Jordan has been a little lighter.last_img

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