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Clippers take advantage of technical advances to improve scouting

By in Press Enterprise on November 6, 2017

By Elliott Teaford

LOS ANGELES — When he was an NBA player, Doc Rivers studied the opposition the only way available. He watched film with his teammates while playing the point guard position with the Atlanta Hawks, Clippers, New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs, from 1983-96.

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Now, players watch video with hand-held devices, with editing to include every play in which they were involved or every play in which the player they were guarding was involved. They can watch every type of play their team ran or every type of play run by the opposition.


Or later.

It’s made scouting the opposition so much easier, so much more detailed.

“It’s come a long way from the Mike Fratello, reel-to-reel tapes that I had to watch,” Rivers said Sunday. “When you went West, when you played teams like Sacramento or, and I’m old enough to say Kansas City and that’s old, you literally had never seen them play, like, ever.”

Rivers referred to the former Hawks coach, who now serves as a TV analyst.

“My rookie year, I remember playing Kansas City, and you didn’t recognize or you literally didn’t know how guys looked, let alone how they played,” Rivers said. “You didn’t see them play. There was no TV (or very few nationally televised games) back then.”

Now, Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley can pick up the tendencies of his counterpart over and over again, going back for many seasons. The Clippers can watch how the opposition runs or defends pick-and-roll plays. There’s no need for extended video sessions. It’s all one-on-one now.

Advanced technology has made it possible to learn so much more, making preparation easier.

“It’s great,” Rivers said. “There’s an individual one and then there’s another that says, ‘Miami,’ […]    

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