PRACTICE REPORT: THE FINAL PRACTICE OF 2013
PLAYA VISTA – Before practice on Tuesday morning, DeAndre Jordan got straight to the point.
“Doc and the coaches are going to get on some people today, including me,” he said. “Everybody’s going to be a victim of film today.”
The film from Monday night’s 107-88 loss to the Phoenix Suns was going to be unkind to the Clippers (21-12). They were beaten in nearly every phase of the game, and according to Head Coach Doc Rivers “did everything poorly.”
Rivers watched film of the Phoenix game twice, as he normally does. He first took it in immediately after the game and watched it again prior to Tuesday’s practice.
“Sometimes you know what you think you’re going to watch and it was pretty much true,” Rivers said. “Give Phoenix credit, they got into us and took us out of stuff, but a lot of it for us was self-inflicted.”
The Clippers committed 20 turnovers, shot 36.5 percent, scored a home season-low 88 points and trailed by as many as 29 points. There was not much to escape from in the pre-practice breakdown.
“Nobody’s innocent when a team plays bad,” Rivers added. “I don’t ever feel like I can come in and say, ‘They didn’t do this.’ It’s always a ‘we.’ I clearly didn’t do something going into yesterday’s game. I’ve always believed that and I still believe that.
“The film doesn’t lie. It’s an awful film to watch. I always watch them twice, usually right after the game and again first thing in the morning. Usually in the morning it’s a different game because when you watch it after a game it’s a very emotional watch. Either you’re high from a win and you miss stuff and the next day you see it. Or you’re down from a loss and you put too much stuff on it. Last night’s and this morning’s film looked exactly the same to me and that’s never good.”
Despite closing December with three losses in their last four games, the Clippers are still No. 4 in the West with a half-game lead over the Suns in the Pacific Division. They’re nine games over .500. Their listless performance against Phoenix not withstanding they are not washing away the progress they’ve made over the season’s first two months.
“We’ve still got some guys that are injured and are out, some guys that just came back and are trying to get their timing back, so we’re still growing,” Jordan said. “We’ve got a new coaching staff, new system. That’s not an excuse. We’re still learning every day and we’re getting there. It’s still early in the season, so as long as we keep getting better and growing with the process we’ll be all right.”
REDICK GETTING CLOSER TO RETURN
Clippers guard J.J. Redick, who was averaging 15.8 points in 17 games before he went down with a fractured right hand and torn ligament in his wrist on Nov. 29, is no longer wearing a cast and may be inching closer to a return to the lineup.
“He’s had the cast off for a week,” Rivers said. “He’s had a black splint on. [The splint] is just for protection, but I don’t think he needs it anymore.”
Redick has been regularly working out to stay in cardiovascular shape while recovering from the injury, which was slated to take 6-8 weeks before his return to the court. Rivers said he has no official timetable for Redick’s return.
The Clippers play the Lakers on Jan. 10, which is exactly six weeks away from when Redick’s injury took place. After that they have four days off and play another home game against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 15 before departing on their second seven-game road trip of the season the following day.
In the meantime, Rivers said Redick is still trying to build strength in his shooting wrist.
“I haven’t talked to [Jasen Powell] at all, just talking to J.J., he said the atrophy [has been a problem] and he’s amazed how he doesn’t have any range of motion, which is natural when you have a cast on his wrist,” Rivers said.
Forward Reggie Bullock, who sustained a high ankle sprain on Dec. 7, participated in shooting drills before practice. Bullock believes he should be available to return within the 7-10 days, if not sooner.