CLIPPERS LOOK TOWARDS TUESDAY’S OPENER
PLAYA VISTA – On to the regular season.
The Clippers practiced Sunday, their first of two before they open the 2013-14 season against the Lakers on Tuesday, and, the next couple of days is about fine-tuning what they’ve covered over the last month.
“I think we have a pretty good understanding offensively and defensively of what we’re trying to do,” said Griffin. “We definitely need to fine-tune some things and make them a little bit better. For the most part, just getting the stuff down and getting a base to go off of, I think is important.”
The base offense and defense have been implemented from the opening of camp on Oct. 1 in San Diego, but new material has been added regularly. For Head Coach Doc Rivers, though, the team still has a ways to go.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff to do,” Rivers said. “Just because you have stuff in doesn’t mean it’s in. We’re not going to have stuff in the way we want it in by next month. You’ve just got to keep working on it, keeping getting it better.”
Griffin, who will begin his fourth campaign Tuesday, described some of the specifics the Clippers will dialed in on.
“I think execution and flow of our offense,” he said. “It’s really about the little things. It’s about the timing of plays and in turn is about execution. I think defensively as long as we play with the energy and play within the framework of our principles I think we’ll be okay.”
Reserve point guard Darren Collison is working his way back from a bruised left kneecap and was limited in practice Sunday.
“I’m getting there,” Collison said. “It’s not that serious. I should be fine.”
Collison banged knees with Utah’s Gordon Hayward on Wednesday and did not play in the Clippers’ preseason finale two days later. In seven games Collison averaged 16.4 points and 5.4 assists. He scored 58 points in a two-day span last week and has been praised throughout the last month by Rivers for his ability to change games with his end-to-end speed.
“He wouldn’t be out there if wasn’t healthy,” Rivers said. “To me, if he’s healthy and he’s practicing then I don’t need to see anything. I know what he can do. If he’s not healthy, if I see that, then I take him off the floor. I’m not going to practice him if he’s not right.”
Prior to taking the floor Sunday, Collison said his knee is about 80 percent healthy. “We’ll see,” he said. “I should be ready to go on Tuesday [against the Lakers].”