PREGAME COACH QUOTES: GAME 5

Here are some of the best comments from Doc Rivers and Scott Brooks’ pregame media conferences prior to Game 5 Tuesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena:

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

On DeAndre Jordan’s improvement from earlier in the series

“Well, his energy has been better. We’re trying to put him in better positions. I thought the first couple of games; we had him running around everywhere. We probably overdid it with him. He’s our basket protector, but we had him out on traps, running the corners; and at some point, we needed him near the basket. So, the only change we made was that we told him not to help as much as we started out with. I thought that’s helped him. We need him around the basket, and he’s a deterrent when he’s around there; and we need him around there more.”

 

On using Chris Paul and sending double teams to defend Kevin Durant

“We did [have Chris Paul defending Kevin Durant], actually. No one noticed it. We did it in the second quarter, that same thing, and it created turnovers. Matt [Barnes] got some steals. So, we did it in and out. We’re not going to do a steady diet of that; we need CP offensively, as well, in this series. There will be times when CP will guard Durant for sure.

 

On using small guards to defend larger wing players

“I think one thing is that a small player can take something away from a bigger forward. If you remember, I don’t know what series it was; we put [Rajon] Rondo on LeBron [James], and it bothered him a little bit because a guard can take away the one advantage…they have a lot of advantages, but the dribble advantage is taken away. KD and LeBron, guys at their position, they can take off of the dribble. If you put a point guard on them, and those same dribble moves aren’t the same anymore. They tend to try and turn their back, and so that’s one. So, they all adjust. I think the next game, LeBron pretty much adjusted, and then we had to adjust. I’m sure KD will try to adjust to what we did the other night.”

 

THUNDER HEAD COACH SCOTT BROOKS

On allowing the Clippers to come back in Game 4

“Last game, we had things that we could have done better. [We had] a few turnovers that led to easy transition points. We were a little stagnant on offense, but most importantly, we take pride in our defense and we gave up 38 points in the fourth quarter. We gave them a lot of paint opportunities. We had to do a better job of closing out that game.”

 

On responding to the Clippers double-teaming Kevin Durant

“We have to make sure we get him good looks closer to the basket; that’s one thing. We have to set better screens on them, execute, and then move him around. We also understand that when [Chris Paul] was guarding him, he was double teamed right away. So, no matter where you put him, if you’re going to double team on the catch, a lot of times that’s not going to create a shot for KD. So, we just have to be able to take advantage of, and capitalize on the double team. Double-teaming is a gamble. When you put two guys on one, you have four guys on three. You have to be able to respond and react quickly, and be in our spots, and make quick decisions. We’ve been pretty good with that for a long time. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a big guy being guarded by a small guy.”

 

On the ability to force the Clippers into turnovers

“We want to play solid defense. That’s one thing. And then, Chris Paul doesn’t turn the ball over a lot. Turnovers are a big part of what we do. We’ve been pretty good at getting steals the last few years. We turned the ball over too many times last game. That’s one thing that we want to go into every game and try to win that game within the game. I look at playing solid defense, I look at taking away their easy shots more than stealing the basketball.”