Watching the Clippers face the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night in the teams opener for the preseason brought a sense of joy and hardship.
The joy: Blake Griffin has evolved from being known as that guy that can "just dunk" to the "oh my god, he now has a mid-range jumper". And now from the looks of it, he may be looking pretty good from beyond the arc. In a summary of the Clippers recent loss from the LA Times, Doc Rivers expresses how much he enjoys that Blake has developed this ability.
"He's shooting it, he's got great confidence and our guys have confidence in him," Clippers' Coach Doc Rivers said of Griffin. "It gives us a great dimension for him. If he can do both of those things, post and take jump shots like he's doing, just the spacing alone that he creates is good for us."
Reading something like that from Doc is very heart-warming; I can only imagine how Blake is feeling right now.
Adding onto the story of Blake might-having a good looking 3-point shot now, we have an article from Matt Moore over at CBS Sports. This article includes an evolution(in shot-chart form) of Blake's transformation as the Shooter he is becoming today.
Kevin Ding and Stephen Nelson talk about the over/under for the Clippers this season.
We also have the guys over at Sports Illustrated predicting that the Clippers will be the team to beat their over/under from last season.
Doc knows a thing or two about managing players minutes; he did the same thing with his "Big 3" in Boston and that's also what he plans on doing with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul — as well as the rest of the roster.
"This group is a lot younger, so they're actually harder in some ways for me to read," Rivers said of the Clippers players. "Chris is absolutely one of the guys that I will watch closer, and Blake because of the way he plays. Even though he's extremely young, he puts out a lot of energy in the game, so you have to be careful through the year."
That hardship I mentioned? Well, Doc is also talking about how he wants his team in better shape. Last night's loss showed that the team just didn't have a whole lot in the fuel tank when it came to the sloppy play on defense and the silly fouls. He will be having them doing their suicides during their practices now — not out of spite for the loss, but for the fact that they need to be in NBA-conditioned shape.
"I hate doing that. But I do it when it’s necessary, and I think it is necessary," Rivers said. "I think that’s how poorly conditioned we were. We’re just going to have to work extremely hard over the next two weeks, which probably means we’re going to play even worse in preseason games because we’ll be exhausted."
And a few takeaways from the Clippers' loss against the Warriors: From Blake's shooting ability to how Chris Douglas-Roberts looks to be a difference maker.
Rotations are the real question, and Doc doesn't quite have the answer for that yet. When asked who'll play when Matt Barnes is tired, Doc replied:
"I’m not that focused on it right now," Rivers said. "… All of them are going to play. We’ll just watch."
When saying "them," he's referring to Reggie Bullock, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joe Ingles.
Reggie Bullock commented on the ongoing position battle:
"I just know that all the hard work I put in over the summer to get healthy," he said, "and I believe in my game and know the areas this team can use me at.
"I feel like I have both of those traits — defensively and shooting the 3. It's all about confidence with me and staying healthy."
Doc stated that he's going to be playing each of them with the starting lineup at least once. Didn't give a specific time, but that's the plan.
Well, that's all I have for today. I also apologize for the late post, some things came up and got it up as soon as I can!
As always, I leave you with a question or two; What do you think of Blake's shot now compared to where he was at last season? Do you believe it's for real or just something that will happen every now-and-again?