Notebook: Doc Rivers On Flu Bug, Griffin Update, KG’s Role
LOS ANGELES – The flu-like symptoms started with Wesley Johnson, went to Raymond Felton, then hit Austin Rivers and finally carried this week to head coach Doc Rivers, who missed practice Tuesday and shootaround Wednesday morning.
Whatever the sickness is, it’s traveled around the Clippers’ organization for at least a couple weeks, forcing Austin Rivers to miss Sunday’s game. But all affected parties were back available Wednesday night to face the Magic.
“I’ve never missed a practice in my career being sick, until the other day,” Doc Rivers said. “Nothing I’m used to, but this year you’ve heard about it more, for sure. Our team has gone through it, even our office. It’s just one of those years, I guess. It’s not a norm.”
Doc said the Clippers mandate flu shots and they take whatever precautions necessary to ensure they’re as healthy as possible.
Sometimes, though, a virus is uncontrollable.
“Hope it don’t go through the whole team,” Felton said. “Wes got sick, I got sick, then Austin, then Coach Doc got sick. A lot of people in the organization are sick, too. It’s going around.”
Those most bothered by sickness, however, seem to be doing better.
“The good news is, I can sit and coach,” Doc Rivers said. “(Austin) has to run. So, we’ll know how he’s feeling pretty quickly.”
Before Doc Rivers’ illness sidelined him, he had breakfast with Kevin Garnett to discuss the role of the Clippers’ newest consultant.
Garnett was back helping at shootaround Wednesday after offering his help teaching the Clippers’ bigs at Tuesday’s practice.
“He was the last guy I saw before I went down for the count,” Rivers said.
The two formed a game plan, with Rivers asking Garnett questions and explaining his vision, while Garnett offered advice on what he’s seen from afar, which Rivers appreciated.
“I just think he’s a perfect fit for us,” Rivers said. “I think he fits a lot of our guys. I think his enthusiasm is always nice to have in any gym, so it’s a good fit for us.”
As for what the role is specifically, it’s still dynamic.
“I don’t know if there’s a designed role except for to work with the bigs and just give knowledge to anyone that wants it – about being a teammate, winning, everything,” Rivers said. “He has great knowledge. I said he’s the greatest superstar teammate, maybe ever. So, it’s good to have him around.”
Much of that knowledge will go to DeAndre Jordan, who tied Kevin Garnett on Wednesday night for the ninth-most 20-plus rebound games since 1983-84, posting the 36th of his career and NBA-leading sixth of the season.
Griffin On Track
All appears well in Blake Griffin’s recovery from a right knee procedure.
Doc Rivers said he’s not sure if Griffin’s ahead of schedule or just on schedule, but Griffin’s still on track to return in the initial four-to-six-week recovery timeframe.
“He feels great,” Rivers said. “He told me he’s felt as good as he’s felt in a long time…All things are good for him. That’s very positive for us.”