CLIPPERS STICKING WITH THE PROCESS
PLAYA VISTA – The Clippers aren’t jumping to any conclusions.
A day after losing their season opener, guard J.J. Redick said the team is looking at it as an opportunity.
“Last night, could be a good thing for us if we respond the right way,” said Redick, who scored 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting Tuesday. “And the response has got to be to learn from our mistakes and own up to them and get better.”
Redick, Blake Griffin and Head Coach Doc Rivers all spoke to the media prior to Wednesday’s practice. With the day to prepare for Thursday’s home opener against the Warriors, all three cited energy, pace, rebounding, defensive integrity and a number of other areas in need of being cleaned up.
“I thought we came with the right intentions,” Rivers said. “We just didn’t do them very well. I thought we broke down a lot. All of the things that we’ve worked on that we do in a drill and when the lights came on we didn’t do them.”
Asked to be specific, Rivers responded by listing off the points of concern on the defensive side of the ball first. “Our shows, our stunts, our recovers, we were in to out instead of out to in,” he said.
“The game just didn’t look right to me throughout the game. I just didn’t feel good about it. You could sense it.”
Rivers stressed that he did not come to practice Wednesday with a drastic message.
“The process hasn’t changed,” he said. “We haven’t changed what we’re going to do. We’re just going to keep working on it until we trust it.”
Continuity has been tough to come by as well. Redick missed six preseason games with a left quad contusion, Matt Barnes sat out seven games with a sore left calf and Darren Collison did not practice Monday due to the birth of his first child and also was nursing a bruised left kneecap.
Redick thinks the injuries stunted the process.
“It’s not an excuse, we’re learning,” Redick said. “We’re a work in progress. This is not a group that’s been together for a long time and having Matt and I miss most of the preseason probably didn’t help in terms of trusting each other and all that.”
THIRD BIG MAN
The first big man off the bench remains a fluid situation for Rivers. He elected to use Ryan Hollins for four minutes Tuesday in reserve of Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens did not play. But that could change from game to game, according to Rivers.
“I thought [Hollins] won it out defensively for us,” Rivers said, referring to the battle between Hollins, Jamison and Mullens. “I thought his energy was good for us, but I’m going to go back and forth. Hopefully, eventually someone separates themself so there is no decision. But right now there is a decision to make there every night.”
RIVERS COMMENTS ON IVERSON
Former 76ers great and four-time NBA scoring champion Allen Iverson officially announced his retirement Wednesday. Rivers was asked about Iverson’s impact on the sport:
“He was a heck of a player. One of the toughest players at his height maybe ever to play the game. He had a lot of heart, was tough, was physical, could score. He almost singlehandedly, and it’s never done alone, but you could make a case that he put the team on his back and took his team to the Finals against the Lakers in that one year, which was just an amazing year for him.”