Not a crush of Clippers related content out there but a couple of quality pieces worth passing along:
At SBNation, Paul Flannery spent the week in Los Angeles, taking in the sights and sounds of Rivers’ new metropolitan home, surveying the construction of Lob City and, most importantly, escaping the New England frost.
“I took the gamble, that’s what I always tell people,” Rivers said. “It was me taking this gamble. It’s worth it. If we get it right, it will be worth it. If we get it wrong, it will be a great attempt. It gives me a lot of life and it’s a task. If you know, there’s a lot, not just the basketball part that we’re trying to change here. It’s more the mindset.”
At TrueHoop, Kate Fagan stops by and chats with Henry Abbott about even more Doc Rivers, their drive for title contention and the subtle shifts Rivers is making to realize that goal.
“One of the most interesting things Doc said was when I asked him, ‘Alright, so I see what you want from Chris Paul, right? You want him to give up the ball up earlier and run the offense with pass instead of dribble. That makes sense. So what does Blake need to do to change his game that will help the team?’ And Doc said basically on all these pick-and-rolls that they run in the halfcourt set, when Blake pops out to the wing and sets a pick on Paul, a lot of times he’ll kind of roll to space because he loves that little 15-foot jumper. And Doc is trying to get him to, every time he sets that wing pick and roll, to roll hard to the rim even if he’s mostly not going to get the ball because weakside defenders are going to come over–they’re going to have to pay attention to Blake Griffin rolling to the rim–and a lot of times that guard will be able to penetrate and then kick to the weakside for open shooters.”
And for throwback Clippers news: you may not have heard, but Shaun Livingston is having himself a nice little year. Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game sits down and breaks down his season, complete with Livingston narration of some game tape.
With Livingston, it’s not just about vision, but perspective. Combine his 20-20 vision, athletic talent, broad upbringing, and eagerness to learn, and it’s not hard to see how Livingston became an athletic professional that can talk about Herman Hesse’s Siddartha, his faith, and the intricacies of getting teammates involved in the pick-and-roll without skipping a beat.
Livingston credits his father, who drove him all around Peoria from basketball camps to playgrounds, for having the foresight to help Livingston develop his own vision. “The more that I played, you just pick it up,” he explained. “It’s just like anything. Like the Malcolm Gladwell book (Outliers), about the 10,000 hours. The more you that you do something, it just becomes repetition, repetition, repetition. So by doing that over and over, I just had a feel for the game.”