Clippers stick to basics while integrating newest players into their system
LOS ANGELES — Doc Rivers rolled the basketball onto the court and asked the Clippers to play a pickup game. The Clippers’ coach figured it was one good way to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the three players acquired Monday in the trade that sent Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons.
It was also a quick way to find out who clicked with whom.
“We really just played pickup basketball,” Rivers said Saturday of the Clippers’ practice sessions Thursday and Friday, their first since acquiring Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and two draft picks from the Pistons. “I just wanted to see how they fit.
“As you see them play, you start to see things. One thing someone can do. Something you didn’t know someone could do. Then you start fitting them into your system. That’s what we’re still doing, but at least you could start to see stuff.
“I do it a lot because when you do that you find out how they play and you can also find out what they want to do. When you do that and … the game gets to one point, like, the winning point, guys are going to tell you exactly what they want to do because they want to win the game.”
Rivers knew Bradley as a standout defender who improved his shooting touch over the years because Rivers coached Bradley when both were with the Boston Celtics. Rivers knew Harris because Rivers watched Harris play AAU games against his son, Austin, starting from an early age.
Rivers didn’t know much about Marjanovic, but liked his 7-foot-3 size and potential.
Bradley started at the shooting guard position in his Clippers debut Saturday against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center, joining Milos Teodosic in the backcourt. Harris started at the small forward spot, Griffin’s old position, […]