Over at FOX Sports West, I wrote about five takeaways from the Clippers’ 113-91 win over the Pistons on Monday. Click here to read the full piece. Here is an excerpt:
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers has had a theory on the NBA’s regular season for at least nine years.
Forget 82 games. In Rivers’ eyes, the season is separated into three parts: the beginning (20 games), the middle (40 games) and the end (20 games). With each period comes varying difficulties and excitement.
“During the first 20 games, everyone is excited,” Rivers said. “Those are easy games to get up for. During the last 20 games, everyone who is going to the playoffs is excited because they can see the end.
“The middle 40 games are the hard ones. It is when your team gets better and mentally tougher. It is when you learn about yourself on tired nights.”
According to Rivers, the Clippers (17-7) are currently amidst the middle, most challenging stretch, which is why a 113-91 blowout win of the lowly Detroit Pistons (5-20) was a proper way to start a 15-game stretch that features 12 home games — many of which will be against playoff locks and contenders.