24 Seconds With Doc Rivers: Dealing With Paul Loss
This weekly series from Clippers.com features a Q&A with Clippers players, coaches, alumni or those tied somehow to the Clippers’ organization. The next edition features head coach Doc Rivers.
LOS ANGELES – The Clippers have won seven straight games, but building on that undefeated start to 2017 just became significantly more challenging.
Head coach Doc Rivers talked before Wednesday’s practice about moving forward following Chris Paul’s thumb surgery, which is expected to sideline the point guard for six to eight weeks. Here’s some of what Rivers had to say.
How’s Chris feeling?
DR: “He’s disappointed. Obviously, he’s so competitive. You could see it when the injury happened. He knew. Actually, when he got injured, I didn’t think he had done it. I knew what it was – you can see my scars – but, I didn’t think he had done it, because I was looking at his thumb. But, he did. Nothing you can do about it.
“Once you get the news…it’s move on. You start watching film and seeing what you can do.”
How do you stop from moping about the current situation?
DR: “I just think life happens. You can’t predict it. Sometimes, you have good rolls, sometimes you don’t. This is not a season-ending injury. That would affect you more. But, it’s not. I look at this as an opportunity for a bunch of guys who haven’t played together a lot. We still have new guys … this is a good opportunity for them to learn how to execute together. When everybody’s back, when you get Chris and Blake (Griffin) back, if this group can execute and then you put those two guys back on the floor, I think it makes us better in the long run. This is not the way you want to do it, but it’s the way it’s been presented.”
What’s the point guard breakdown look like with Chris out?
DR: “Austin (Rivers) and Raymond (Felton) are the only two guys, really. I guess the biggest issue, we use Austin in so many different ways, he’s going to have to do a lot of different things. I guess that’s the simplest way.”
When Chris got injured earlier this season, their minutes went up significantly. How do you avoid Raymond’s and Austin’s minutes getting too high?
DR: “It’s going to be hard on some of them….That’s probably why we didn’t play as hard, because guys were playing too many minutes. I think J.J. (Redick)’s minutes have to go up a little bit, Jamal (Crawford)’s minutes will have to go up, because we don’t want to tax Raymond and Austin to the point that they’re not doing what they do well. Raymond’s a great ball pressure guy. If you start playing him 38 minutes, his ball pressure goes down. We’ve learned a lot from the last time.”